Custom photo, makeitstranger.com
The world is no stranger to Netflix’s Stranger Things. According to Nielsen’s rating service, 15.8 million people watched at least the first episode of Stranger Things 2 within three days of the release on Oct. 27.
With that many people watching, the second season was sure to be a marketing minefield. Don’t believe us? One study showed that email engagement rose 74% in the U.S. when subject lines mentioned the show’s name. (Believe us now?)
Obviously, with that type of ROI, brands were going to capitalize on Netflix’s hit show. Here are our favorite recent Stranger Things 2 marketing campaigns:
The 80’s music in Stranger Things 2 played an important role in setting the scene.
Are you a fan of Ted Nugent, like Billy? Or are you more of a Clash fan, like Jonathan and Will? With Spotify’s new campaign, you can find out your Stranger Things character match. Just log into Spotify at spotify-strangerthings.com and it will evaluate your music preferences and give you a playlist to listen to based on your character match. From Mad Max’s Sk8 Sessions (my personal character match) to Steve’s Morning Hair Grooves, you can’t go wrong!
Netflix’s first merchandising attempt is now available at Target. Purchase a red sweater with the iconic Christmas lights or a Stranger Things Blu-ray + DVD set in a VHS case to commemorate your favorite show. Not only does Target have original merchandise, but it also compiled a list of “Eighties Things” available in in-store to tickle your nostalgia fancy. Buy a Polaroid camera or a Steven King novel to reminisce on the good ol’ days (even if you weren’t alive then).
Take a trip to Hawkins, Indiana, with Snapchat’s Stranger Things 2 filter. Scan the snapcode below, or use the Shazam feature when the theme song is playing to unlock Will, Jonathan, and Joyce Byer’s home as it looked during the first season. This is the first filter of its kind where you can actually step into a world outside of your own.
Walk into the 80’s with Reebok’s reboot of its Ex-O-Fit shoes. Reebok teamed up with BAIT and Stranger Things to throw it back to when these sneakers were popular. Featuring Dustin’s Ghostbusters-inspired drawings, these shoes are totally tubular!
We all know Eleven’s favorite food: Eggos! Who can forget the scene in season one when she steals boxes of Eggos from a supermarket and breaks the glass doors to get away? The Kellogg’s brand has had more screen time than any other brand (and some characters!) throughout the series. The best part for Eggo? The brand didn’t pay a dime for it. The product placement in the series was a “happy surprise,” according to its marketing director. So, with all the money the brand had left, Eggo launched a marketing campaign. They created Stranger Things-themed recipes named after each episode and how-to guides to create your own Eggo purse, and partnered with Netflix and Hasboro to create a Stranger Things Eggo card game. Finally, the brand managers topped it off with a great social media campaign. If that doesn’t make you say “L’Eggo my Eggo,” we don’t know what will!
There’s a lot to learn from these successful marketing campaigns. Many of them are focused on nostalgia marketing. These brands found the Stranger Things Effect works incredibly well with Millennials, also dubbed “the nostalgia generation.” Because technological advancements moved so fast, older Millennials experienced the technological revolution in full. The younger half of Millennials have the Internet to understand pop culture references from past generations—unlike any other generation before. Therefore, creating an emotion of nostalgia for how things “used to be” attracts Millennials. The best campaigns mix the new with the old. That’s why so many people will play retro games on their iPhones or post Polaroid pictures on Instagram. Not only has Stranger Things given us a compelling new show to follow, it has also given us a look into the future of marketing.
Ashley Smith, Associate Editor & Content Strategist
As Lexicon’s content strategist, Ashley creates content for clients that educates customers and potential customers on a number of topics related to the client’s business. When she’s not at Lexicon, she’s either trying out new happy hours around the metro or cooking new recipes at home.