- In support of the third season of Netflix’s hit series "Stranger Things," selected Burger King restaurants in the U.S. will serve an Upside Down Whopper beginning June 21, according to a press release shared with Marketing Dive. The "Upside Down" is the series' name for its parallel world of monsters.
- The new Whopper features series-related packaging and the same ingredients as the actual Whopper, but presented upside down. The 11 (after main character Eleven) restaurants offering this promotion will also have limited edition "Stranger Things" t-shirts, crowns, ketchup packets and pins.
- The campaign also includes a contest in partnership with Coca-Cola. By purchasing any soft drink at participating Burger Kings, 100,000 customers every day will have a chance to win swag, free food, cash, airline tickets, a car or a Stranger Things VIP Experience. Plus, a "Hopper Meal" (named after the police chief in the series) that is ordered through delivery service DoorDash with code "STRANGER" unlocks exclusive content from the third season from June 13 through June 20.
With its latest campaign, Burger King becomes the latest brand to tie-in "Stranger Things." The "upside down" Whopper — literally a burger served upside down — and other nods to the Netflix series fit in line with the brand's long line of playful marketing gimmicks that generate buzz about the burger chain.
Burger King is not the only brand getting on board with the third season of the series, which premieres on July 4. Known for its references to 80’s pop culture, the first episode of the second season was seen by more than 15 million viewers. The audience and nostalgia are two factors that make "Stranger Things" ideal for product tie-ins and in-show placements.
In addition to its tie-in through Burger King's giveaway contest, Coke is also bringing back one of the most famous product flops in history, New Coke. Launched in 1985 and dropped only 79 days later, New Coke will appear in some episodes of the new season. Coke announced it would sell half a million cans of New Coke to coincide with the tie-in. While several generations of marketers have studied the fiasco of New Coke as a marketing-disaster-to-avoid, Coke is trying to tap into 1980s nostalgia to now turn this soft drink into a textbook example of product placement.
The DoorDash tie-in is also a repeat play for Burger King as it attempts to make inroads in the burgeoning food delivery space. Previously, the QSR partnered with DoorDash for a Twitch takeover and teased its Super Bowl spot with a DoorDash mystery box.
In yet another brand tie-in, Baskin Robbins created a real-life version of the third season's Scoops Ahoy Ice Cream parlor. Baskin-Robbins will feature ice cream flavors of the month that are inspired by the show, as well as bonus menu items like a waffle bowl sundae that resembles the show’s Demogorgon monster and an Elevenade Freeze.
"Stranger Things" has quickly become a target of product placement campaigns after the appearance of Eggo waffles in the show's first season helped boost sales. In the second season, an awkward dinner scene with the parents of a missing daughter features a bucket of KFC chicken, a paid product placement.