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New Coke Is Coming Back

Just 500K cans of it though, thanks to 'Stranger Things'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2019 2:34 PM CDT
This undated photo provided by Coca-Cola shows a can of New Coke, which was originally launched in the summer of 1985.   (Coca-Cola via AP)

(Newser) – New Coke was infamously unpopular, and yet something tells us the 500,000 cans Coca-Cola will soon be making available will go pretty quickly. The widely detested soda was introduced as the new version of the beloved beverage in 1985, but the original version was quickly brought back due to the widespread hatred for its replacement. The upcoming season of Netflix's Stranger Things is set in 1985, so it only makes sense that New Coke will be mentioned on the show ... and those aforementioned 500,000 cans of what the New York Times calls a "sweeter, smoother version" of regular Coke will be sold in conjunction with the show, starting Thursday, on the Coke website as well as some vending machines. (New Coke was still sold until 2002 under the moniker Coke II, and the original version of Coke was sold as "Coca-Cola Classic" from its reintroduction in 1985 until 2009.)

"It was one of the first ideas in our Season 3 brainstorm," series creators the Duffer Brothers tell the Times. "It was the summer of ’85, and when you talk about pop culture moments, New Coke was a really big deal. It would have been more bizarre to not include it." As for getting Coca-Cola itself involved, Netflix's head of partnership marketing explains, "We asked the question, 'What would really blow it out of the water for this campaign?' They jokingly said, ‘Bring back New Coke.’ They thought it was a joke. We took it as a brief." The soda company agreed to the plan ("no money changed hands," per the Times), finding the recipe in its archives. In a statement cited by EW, a Coke exec says the brand is excited to "be part of one of this year’s most anticipated pop culture moments." It's just one of many partnerships Stranger Things has coming up, all in an effort to fuel hype for the new season, which debuts July 4. (Read more New Coke stories.)

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