August 18, 2019

New Coke Was a Debacle. It’s Coming Back. Blame Netflix.

In an about-face, the company brought back the original under the name Coca-Cola Classic, and the two types existed side by side for the remainder of the decade. After taking on the name Coke II, the reformulated drink lasted until 2002, when it was quietly pulled from shelves. The original formula had won out, but the “Classic” tag didn’t fall away from cans and bottles until 2009.

The Duffers featured brand-name products in the first two seasons of “Stranger Things,” with Kellogg’s Eggo waffles and Kentucky Fried Chicken having prominent roles. Netflix said the two companies did not pay anything to appear on the program.

The company added that many of its other corporate partnerships, including with Baskin-Robbins, would not generate revenue, although the streaming service will get a cut of “Stranger Things”-branded clothing and other merchandise. Any money the company brings in from the arrangements isn’t as important as “fueling the fandom,” said Christie Fleischer, Netflix’s vice president for consumer products.

For the show’s creators, the association with brand-name products lends a touch of their favorite ’80s movies to the show. “When we were kids, we were obsessed with those self-lacing Nikes in ‘Back to the Future Part II,’ and, of course, we loved that Elliott baited E. T. with Reese’s Pieces!” the Duffers, who are 35-year-old twins, said. “When we were kids, that simply made Elliott more relatable, more ordinary, more like us.”

Relationships with outside companies seem likely to become a trend for Netflix. The producer Shonda Rhimes, who has a nine-figure, multiyear contract with the service, expressed an interest in “product integration” during an interview with The Times last year.

The Duffers said none of the marketing deals meant to hype their show would add to their bank accounts. “We’re not getting a revenue cut from any of this,” they said. “The hope is that it just gets the show more exposure.”

The arrangement did lead to a paid side gig, though: The Duffers directed a Coke commercial to be shown in movie theaters starting this weekend. And they said their show would stay true to the brand, saying, “We did tell our production designer to make sure we never saw any Pepsi!”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/21/business/media/new-coke-netflix-stranger-things.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

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