Nostalgia usually only helps to make mediocre, slightly embarrassing things palatable or at least makes their harsh edges fuzzy and pleasant. However, for a colossal failure like New Coke, which attempted to overtake the original Coca Cola as the go-to beverage, might not fare so well. A whole new generation gets to try the accursed brew as Coke is bringing it back as a promotional item tied-in to Stranger Things 3.
For those of you who were too young to remember (myself included), New Coke was a beverage created by the company that was built up with a huge marketing campaign in the summer of 1985. However, the taste was so unappealing and customers were so vocal in their hate for it that the item was pulled off shelves after a few short months, never to be seen again.
But the times, they are a-changin’ and the company is hoping to bank on both the popularity of the show and legendary infamy of the drink will get people buzzing about the product once more. “Maybe a while ago we wouldn’t have done this,” Stuart Kronauge, Coke’s Senior VP of Marketing, tells CNN. “But we’re changing and trying to innovate in ways that are beyond traditional new products. This is a cultural innovation.”
Do you want to get your hands on a can and try the disappointment for yourself? Well, there are only three ways to do so: buy limited-edition Stranger Things Coke and Coke Zero Sugar glass bottles online (available starting May 23, 2019), in special themed vending machines popping up in major cities around the US, and as a giveaway item when they purchase a gift or ticket at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta. You should be able to grab one of the 500,000 cans yourself without having to venture into the Upside Down. And if not, at least those glass bottles make a great collector’s item.
No word yet if the beverage will get any real mention during the show, though you can see it featured sneakily in this new clip released by Netflix earlier this month:
Stranger Things 3 premieres on Netflix on July 4, 2019.