For well over a century, Coca-Cola has evolved into one of the world’s most recognizable brands and, in the process, spawned all sorts of unique memorabilia and spin-off soft drinks. But one of those soft drinks nearly ruined the Atlanta-based company back in 1985. It was the first time in 99 years Coca-Cola tampered with its original recipe, creating a Coke that was much sweeter and smoother, more like Diet Coke. It caused a consumer backlash the likes of which haven’t been seen since, though some believe it was all just a marketing ploy to stir up buzz – a topic that’s still debated in business and marketing classes all over the country. In the end, New Coke lasted just 79 days before the company banished it forever. That is, until now.
As a promotional tie-in with Netflix’s upcoming third season of Stranger Things, set to be released on July 4, Coca-Cola will once again release New Coke this summer. The new season of the wildly popular science fiction series will take place in the summer of 1985 and we can only imagine that New Coke, which was later re-branded Coke II, plays some sort of role in the storyline. This isn’t like a new take on the old soft drink, either. Coca-Cola actually dug up the original New Coke recipe from its archives, reproduced it and will be selling it in a variety of different ways. The company has produced under 500,000 of the 12-ounce cans but, who knows, maybe this generation will enjoy the different recipe?
Product placement is nothing new but Coca-Cola hopes this take on an infamous drink will be a way for the company to reach people in a media landscape that continues to evolve. For Netflix, it’ll be a way to advertise in a different style. There will be three ways customers can get New Coke: as a gift when purchasing limited edition Stranger Things Coca-Cola and Coke Zero glass bottles online, through Stranger Things’ “upside-down” pop-up vending machines that will be in select cities this summer, or as a giveaway when purchasing a ticket at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta. The company believes these will sell out in a short period of time, because 1980s nostalgia is at an all-time high.
We’re kind of hoping, when mixed with Mentos, it’ll take out the Demogorgan.