Stranger Things has offered a fresh throwback to the world of the 1980s that’s both nostalgic and nuanced. This effect is in no small part due to its incorporation of era-appropriate products, from '80s trendy clothes to Reagan/Bush and Mondale/Ferraro Presidential campaign ads. But in Season 3, the show will be bringing back one of the most iconic '80s products of all: the New Coke. And, to boot, Coca-Cola will be releasing a limited number of New Coke cans in the present.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the idea to include New Coke originated at the very inception of Season 3, which takes place in 1985, the year that the drink was released for three months to universal hatred. Ross and Matt Duffer, the series' creators, explained that, “It was one of the first ideas in our Season 3 brainstorm.”
“It was the summer of ’85,” they added. “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.” In the past, the Duffer Brothers have included nods to Kentucky Fried Chicken and Eggo waffles, also for the purpose of absorbing the viewer in the world of the mid-1980s.
Per Entertainment Weekly, Coca-Cola created 500,000 cans of New Coke to tie in with the release of Stranger Things 3 this July. In a statement, Stuart Kronauge, the president of the Sparkling business unit and senior vice president of Marketing for Coca-Cola North America, said that with the third season taking place in 1985, “we knew we had an opportunity to revisit that time period in a fun and unexpected way that would also allow us to be part of one of this year’s most anticipated pop culture moments.”
Clearly, then, Stranger Things Season 3 is offering the opportunity for viewers to revisit both the iconic moments and the iconic blunders of United States culture in the 1980s. We’ll be excited to see it happen when the season premieres on July 4.