In 1985, Blockbuster Video opened, the NES was first sold, and New Coke made its debut. Out of the three, Coca-Cola’s failed re-branding is the one making a major comeback in 2019. Thanks to some marketing tie-in magic, Coca-Cola is bringing back the short-lived drink to promote Stranger Things’ third season. Since this upcoming installment takes place in 1985, bringing back New Coke seems like an inevitable choice. New Coke’s comeback is one of many branded partnerships for Netflix before the show drops this summer.
A 40 second ad for New Coke appeared back in May 2019, parodying Coke’s “First Love” commercials with Hawkins’ finest. Max and Lucas share some candy outside a Coke vending machine. Eleven and Mike kiss with a New Coke on a desk nearby. Steve sips on New Coke whilst flirting with some girls at the Starcourt Mall. The last moments of the commercial end with a reunion between Steve and now-BFF Dustin as the power goes out. With its season finale titled “The Battle of Starcourt,” major stuff is bound to happen at this mall.
On June 14, 2019, the Stranger Things’ Twitter account spoiled us with some more season 3 clips in an extended ad. We get to watch season two’s villain, Billy, seduce all the ladies at the pool, working as a lifeguard. Unfortunately, with an episode titled “The Case of the Missing Lifeguard” and Barb’s poolside death-by-demogorgon, I have a bad feeling about this summer job. We also get to see the kids using their AV club knowledge to set up an antenna in the middle of a field. This does raise the question about who—or what—the kids are trying to contact. Is it possible that aliens are joining the list of creepy things that haunt Hawkins?
just a couple thirsty boys having a night out in 1985 pic.twitter.com/lE6I2Fa04U
— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) June 14, 2019
Now, the real treat of this extended advertisement is seeing Single Mom Steve back in action. After chatting it up with the ladies, the camera pans to reveal Steve’s real date to the movies: Dustin. After some arguing over Steve’s tardiness, Dustin introduces Steve to the salty-sweet goodness of Milk Duds in popcorn. Just when our favorite duo is ready to enjoy their film (The Goonies, maybe?), the power goes out. Not just in the theater, but also the mall, and well, Hawkins. It seems that the Upside Down and its monsters are invading Hawkins even more than we thought.
Stranger Things 3 will premiere on July 4, 2019—less than a month away. Until then, we’ll be nursing a can of New Coke as we speculate what will happen to Hawkins in ‘85.