- There are strange things happening in the wake of the third season of Netflix's hit series, "Stranger Things," which airs July 4. One is a new "Strange Things" video from image stock house Shutterstock, which references the series while highlighting the variety of footage available in its massive library, according to details shared with Marketing Dive.
- This is the fourth video in the "It's Not Stock, It's Shutterstock" campaign, which promotes the concept that its collection of more than 200 million images, video clips and music tracks contains content that goes beyond ordinary imagery from a stock library. The new video does not appear to be officially affiliated with the series.
- Meanwhile, the Netflix series is hosting a pop-up fair that takes over Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park on Coney Island this weekend, featuring 1985 sci-fi themes, prizes and food from the fictional Scoops Ahoy ice cream parlor in the series. Last weekend, a similar "Stranger Things" carnival took over the Santa Monica Pier with series-related features like a Demogorgon curiosity house.
With "Game of Thrones" in the rearview, a number of brands are climbing aboard the "Stranger Things" bandwagon ahead of the show's third season premiere in an attempt to associate themselves with the exicitement around the popular show.
One of the stranger things about those brand tie-ins is that marketers have continued to find creative ways to capitalize on the fervor surrounding the show, while the series itself is exclusively on an ad-free streaming platform. Official brand tie-ins and product placements could help to add a fresh revenue stream for Netflix.
Coca-Cola, for instance, is resurrecting the New Coke fiasco of the 1980s and tapping into nostalgia for older viewers who remember when New Coke first hit shelves, but also younger Netflix viewers who likely don't have strong associations with the beverage but who have turned "Stranger Things" into a phenomenon. While "Stranger Things" doesn't have actual ads, its 1980s setting is prime territory for product placement, and New Coke reportedly will appear in some of the third season's episodes.
Coke is only one of more than a dozen brand tie-ins to the show. In June, the Chicago Cubs baseball team featured a "Stranger Things" augmented reality lens through Snapchat at Wrigley Field. Baskin-Robbins is offering themed bonus menu items and created an ice cream truck that emulates the Scoops Ahoy ice cream parlor in the series. Burger King created an Upside Down Whopper, in homage to the series' Upside Down world of paranormal creatures.
However, this kind of brandapoolza surrounding a TV series could soon result in consumer burnout, per Fast Company. While it remains to be seen how many product placements the third season actually accepts, there's the distinct possibility that Netflix viewers may find the Upside Down has been transformed into the Land of Product Overkill.