The Challenge

Coca-Cola partnered with Stranger Things to transport people back to the summer of 1985 – the same time New Coke was launched. Coca-Cola wanted to make a splash with the limited time come back of New Coke in anticipation of the third season of Stranger Things.

The Execution

In order to kickstart this campaign, the first stop for the New Coke x Stranger Things vending machine was Barcade, a vintage arcade and bar located in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. People were able to take a walk down memory lane by playing some of their favorite video games while sipping on New Coke. Visitors were excited to rep the Coke merch, and everyone loved the eerie vibe that was imposed on the venue due to the influence from Stranger Things.

In order to continue the celebration of the Coca-Cola x Stranger Things partnership, the upside down vending machine was brought to Coca-Cola headquarters to be active on Stranger Things day at the office. The installation was a huge success as employees sought after the limited edition product! There was a constant line of staff eager to use the machine and everyone was shocked by the intricate details of the set. Since not seen from the line or outside the set, there were great and surprising reactions to the Hazmat Suit character upon entrance to the set.

Our third stop with the Coca-Cola x Stranger Things vending machine was at Dallas Fort Worth International airport. The vending machine activated for one-day as part of a week-long Coca-Cola x Stranger Things celebration in the Coca-Cola lounges. Travelers were excited to sample New Coke via the vending machine, and they loved the use of the photo booth to pose with their New Coke cans and Stranger Things t-shirts.

The last stop on the tour was back in Atlanta at SunTrust Park, where Coca-Cola had a Stranger Things night at the Atlanta Braves game. The event was wildly popular, with a line stretching down the concourse the entire time. The Stranger Things packet sold out and kids, families and adults of all ages were excited to taste New Coke and use the vending machine.

The Strategy
An upside down vending machine, inspired by the alternate dimension in which Stranger Things takes place, was installed in select cities. Guests who interacted with the machine were able to sample exclusive New Coke products, obtain merch via surprise and delight, and pose for photos.


New Coke cans were sampled over 4 activation days