What the return of ‘Stranger Things’ tells us about Netflix’s evolving marketing strategy.

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Netflix pushed “Stranger Things” forward to the largest four-day opening in the platform’s history when the 80s inspired series returned on July 4 for a third season.

Of course, Netflix forced fans to wait more than a year and a half for new episodes that might have something to do with the monstrous opening.

But the success of the return of “Stranger Things” was also due to a massive strategic marketing effort within Netflix, using brands like Coca-Cola, Nike and Baskin-Robbins to promote the show in channels like retail stores that Netflix itself could not reach.

With a Nike collection, custom cola cans, thematic whoppers at Burger King, an H&M collection, Lego sets and custom flavors at Baskin-Robbins, it was almost impossible not to know that “Stranger Things” was coming back.

The partnerships were a test for Netflix to see how the audience will interact with their original franchises outside the platform – and how they see Netflix characters associated with brands.

The deals seem to pay off for Netflix and its brand partners, including Coca-Cola.

Netflix also marketed “Stranger Things” strongly on its own, including trailers for the coming season, posters on the Sunset Strip, spotlights within the platform and 80s carnivals on Coney Island in New York and the Santa Monica Pier in California.

The overall campaign shows how Netflix is further developing the way it markets its flagship shows and opening up new channels, target audiences and advertising funds with the help of other brands.

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