If you’re still complaining about how Game of Thrones ended — stop. Seriously, while things may not have panned out the way we all thought they should in our heads (or you know, how the previous nine seasons suggested they might) when people go as far as signing a petition to get the last season changed, something that will never happen anyway, we all just look like ungrateful brats.
Besides, when have complaints screamed at a multi-national company ever resulted in change? Oh right, Coca-Cola.
If you’ve ever spent time looking at a Coke can (a personal hobby of mine) you may have noticed the words “Original Formula” gracing the label. This isn’t just a marketing move to suggest Coca-Cola’s long-running history, it’s a promise. Back in the summer of ’85, the company tried to introduce New Coke which everyone hated about as much as the Game of Thrones finale. Letter writing and phone campaigns ensued. It was a PR nightmare. The new formula relied on synthetic vanilla, rather than the real stuff — which was dramatically cheaper and tested better with focus groups. (Side note: the pivot caused a panic in Madagascar’s vanilla industry so dramatic that it led to a massive economic collapse. Luckily for the Malagasy, the new formula was detested by fans and the economy of Madagascar recovered.)
Nobody has thought about New Coke since the 80s — before many of us were even born — which means it’s ripe for a nostalgic call back, and who are the current kings of nostalgia? The Duffer Brothers.
The Duffer Brothers pay homage to New Coke in the new teaser trailer for Stranger Things’ upcoming Season three — which plays out like an era-appropriate advertisement. We get to see Steve Harrington and Dustin sip down New Coke’s in a crowded movie theater over a cheesy jingle about sharing America’s favorite beverage, and it’s got us so hyped for season three. The call back is subtle, if you didn’t know about New Coke we wouldn’t blame you for missing it, but it ladders up to an actual product launch.
Yup, New Coke is coming back, thanks to Netflix and corporate synergy. The goal is to hype the show and keep Coke relevant while scoring tons of free articles, like this one! The same sort of release is forthcoming with Baskin & Robbins and H&M. As for New Coke, 500,000 cans will be released via Coke’s website and in certain vending machines.
“New Coke was always going to play a role this season,” the Duffer Brothers wrote in a joint email interview with the New York Times. “It was one of the first ideas in our Season 3 brainstorm. 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.”
Stranger Things season three will premiere on Netflix on July 4th, which is exciting if you need to fill the hole that Game of Thrones has left in your life. New Coke will likely be released at the same time.