Can Stranger Things lift more brands?

Ted MarzilliCEO YouGov Direct
June 25, 2019, 12:54 PM GMT+0

Stranger Things returns to Netflix on July 4 for its third season and brands have been lining up to create marketing partnerships and tie-ins with the popular show about ‘80s teens and supernatural events.

68 percent of people have heard of the show and 39 percent have a positive opinion, according to YouGov Ratings.

Brands have been loving the show since the first season, when Eggo waffles scored a tremendous amount of earned media because one of the show’s main characters liked to munch on them. Eggo had no actual brand partnership with the show for season one, but its sales soared nonetheless.

Could New Coke be the Eggo waffles of Season 3? Stranger Things plans to feature the failed drink in its plot lines for Season 3 and Coca-Cola decided to re-release the product ahead of the show’s debut and try to capitalize on the nostalgia. New Coke was a reformulated Coca-Cola product released in 1985 that didn’t fare well. It’s often referred to as a marketing blunder.

It’s unlikely that New Coke is going to work as a product this time, either, according to YouGov’s Plan and Track data. But that's not the point. The exposure in the show gives Coke a chance to reintroduce its brand to this audience of Netflix watchers who may want to give it a try, and offers them an opportunity to turn a failure into a success 30+ years later.

Among people who say they like Stranger Things and have watched it in the last year, they say they like Coca-Cola slightly less than the average American (31% for fans vs. 40% for average Americans) meaning there's room for growth.

A number of soda brands do appeal more to Stranger Things fans more than the average American. Mug Root Beer (48% fans vs. 32% average American), and Mountain Dew (41% fans vs. 26% average American) present the best opportunities for brands that over-index with fans of the show.

Using the same method, YouGov’s Plan and Track data offers insights into which brands might see success with their marketing tie ins for Stranger Things.

H&M, for instance, resonates well with Stranger Things fans, who are more likely than the average American to recommend the brand (29% for fans vs. 14% for average Americans). That’s good news for H&M,

which launched an entire line of ‘80s inspired clothing

as a tie-in with the third season. Hollister, Hot Topic, Zara, and American Eagle, Urban Outfitters and Aeropostale all offer upside for Stranger Things fans because fans of the show were more likely than the average American to recommend those stores already.

Baskin Robbins is trotting out a

new flavors in honor of the show’s return

: Eleven’s Heaven and Upside Down Pralines.

They might be on to something as well: Stranger Things fans are more likely to say they like the Baskin Robbins brand than the average American (2% of fans vs. .6% of average Americans).

Lego has a neat tie in with Stranger Things. It’s a set for a hotel that works upside down and right side up. According to YouGov’s Plan and Track data, this could be a big win for Lego because Stranger Things fans are more likely than the average American to have plans to purchase building block toys over the next six months. These include Lego.

If these brands play their cards right, they could get a nice boost in YouGov’s BrandIndex metrics like Buzz, which measures whether people have heard positive things about a brand, Awareness, which measures familiarity, and ultimately, Purchase Intent because of the Stranger Things crossovers.