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New Coke Is Making a Comeback Thanks to Stranger Things — Despite Being a Flop 30 Years Ago

Rachel DeSantis

No, you’re not living in the Upside Down – New Coke really is hitting the market once again.

If Netflix’s hit series Stranger Things has proven anything, it’s that consumers love a healthy dose of nostalgia – and with the upcoming third season set to take place in 1985, the show is teaming up with Coca-Cola to briefly revive one of that year’s most buzzed-about products: New Coke.

The soda, a revamped formula of the tried-and-true-classic, was derided by fans, and pulled from shelves after just 79 days in what is widely considered one of the biggest product flops of all time.

But since all that is old is new again, those clamoring for a taste now can enjoy one, thanks to a Stranger Things collaboration.

Stranger Things-themed vending machines will be popping up in select cities to dispense New Coke for free, starting May 23 in N.Y.C. Coca-Cola is also releasing a limited number of 12-oz. cans made from the same original formula, which fans can snag as part of a bundle at CokeStore.com/1985.

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The product is set to be featured in Stranger Things 3, which hits screens on July 4.

Netflix executives studied vintage New Coke packaging, advertisements and marketing in order to ensure the look was authentic, while Coca Cola executives looked to the original recipe, which had been locked away in a safe since its failure.

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A joint advertisement directed by the Duffer Brothers was also released, featuring characters from the show enjoying New Coke at a movie theater.

“In a world of shifting media consumption, we continue to challenge ourselves to find creative and meaningful ways to participate in non-advertising platforms like Netflix to engage with the millions of fans who subscribe to streaming content services,” Geoff Cottrill, senior vice president of strategic marketing, Coca-Cola North America, said in a statement. “We’re excited to partner with Netflix and play a key role in recreating the summer of 1985 in a uniquely Coca-Cola way.”