Coca-Cola is hoping one of its biggest marketing failures will turn into a huge success more than three decades later.
The soft drink company announced Tuesday it’s bringing back New Coke for a limited time ahead of the season 3 premiere of Netflix series “Stranger Things,” which will feature the product throughout the season. The third season of the series will take place in the summer of 1985, the same year Coca-Cola changed its formula and launched New Coke only to receive a barrage of complaints within days.
The product flopped among consumers and was pulled from shelves 79 days after its debut. Now, the soda giant believes the revival will be a viral hit among consumers.
"The summer of 1985 did, in fact, change everything for us with the introduction of New Coke, which was also arguably one of the biggest pop culture moments of that year," said Oana Vlad, director of Coca-Cola Trademark, Coca-Cola North America.
The tagline, “one summer could change everything,” is also being used to promote the new “Stranger Things” season.
The cans of New Coke will have the same 1985 recipe that sparked a backlash. Workers had to retrieve the New Coke recipe from the safe for the partnership.
"All told, everything took about six months and was top secret," said Peter Shoemaker, director of sparkling category commercialization.
Netflix Head of Global Partner Marketing Barry Smyth said the collaboration will allow Netflix to “reach a massive audience via one of the most recognizable brands in the world in a deeply authentic way.”
Coca-Cola will begin issuing a limited number of cans of New Coke as part of a "Stranger Things" package this “Throwback” Thursday. An "upside-down" vending machine inspired by the show will also pop up in select cities this summer to dispense free cans of New Coke for a limited time.
Coca-Cola already received several positive comments about the product comeback on social media.
“The 80's, best times than now days. I remember the New Coke very well,” a follower responded to the company’s tweet on Tuesday, while another commented, “WHO WOULD OF THOUGHT A COCA COLA ADD WOULD BRING ME SUCH HAPPINESS?????”
“Whoa, someone at Coca-Cola needs a raise (whoever came up with this),” another person wrote.
The company’s other products will still be available for consumers looking to stick with what they’re used to.
The third season of "Stranger Things" will be released on July 4.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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