- Sony Pictures Consumer Products partnered with Reebok, which is owned by Adidas, and retailer Bait for a limited-edition release of the Reebok Ex-O-Fit Hi Clean shoe that features designs inspired by the 1984 film "Ghostbusters" that are drawn by a character from the popular Netflix original series "Stranger Things," per a press release.
- The upcoming second season of the show includes a "Ghostbusters" storyline, where the character Dustin modifies his Ex-O-Fit His by drawing designs from the movie on the shoes.
- The shoes will initially be exclusively released at Bait retailers this month and then at premium sneaker stores worldwide, including Reebok stores in Japan and online; Undefeated stores everywhere; Colette in Paris; Mita and Atmos in Tokyo; Kasina in Korea and Juice in Hong Kong. Sony Pictures Consumer Products and Netflix have also teamed up for other co-branded merchandise including Hybrid Apparel, Funko Pop Vinyls and Microsoft Minecraft skins, which will be available this fall at select retailers.
With the second season of "Stranger Things" set to drop on Netflix on Oct. 27, fan anticipation is reaching a feverish peak. The new collaboration between Sony Pictures Consumer Products, Netflix, Reebok and Bait taps into a number of marketing trends this year including '80s nostalgia — which happens to be "Stranger Things"' bread and butter — the popularity of the show itself and the market for limited-edition products, which can drive excitement with customers.
The match-up is a natural one for Reebok, whose high-top sneakers are an iconic style from the '80s. The brand is clearly trying to capitalize on this heritage while also bringing it into the here and now via the "Stranger Things" tie-up. Partnering with Bait is another way Reebok is trying to reinvigorate brand awareness with younger consumers. Bait is a premium specialty retailer with an e-commerce site and stores on the West Coast. In a possible nod to a time when internet technology didn't rule consumers lives, the effort appears to be remarkably devoid of social media or mobile tie-ins other than the sneakers being prominently featured on Bait.com.
The partnership isn't the first to make use of '80s nostalgia this year. In March, Domino’s launched an ongoing effort featuring TV spots inspired by "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off," and included a free live stream of the movie on Facebook Live to celebrate the anniversary of the film's release date. The spot starred one of the lead actors from "Stranger Things."
Limited-edition products, including sneakers, have also been popular this year. Pizza Hut turned to limited-edition sneakers called Pie Tops for a March Madness campaign. They were paired with a mobile app via Bluetooth technology that allowed the shoe's wearer to order pizza by touching a button on the tongue of the right shoe.