Stranger Things latest to double product placement advertising

Ashley Regan
By Ashley Regan | 2 June 2022

The latest from Netflix, Stranger Things Season 4, is on track to be the streaming platform's best earner for product placements.

The product placement blog logged just over 140 brands and products in the part-one release of Stranger Things Season 4.

Reebok and Levis have been spotted. Then there are vehicles, electronics such as a Sony Walkman, drinks and food such as Mountain Dew and Jif peanut butter, plus Crayola Crayons and Marlboro Cigarettes.

The placements are on par with the blog’s 140 plus count from Season 3.

However, as Season 4 is stretched into two separate volumes, it’s likely the total product placements will - at least - double the previous season.

Netflix is preparing an advertising supported subscription tier after net subscriber additions dropped 200,000 to 74.58 million in the three months to March.

In the meantime, brand partnerships are improving advertising revenue.

The Duffer Brothers, creators of Stranger Things, say the split of Season 4 is due to writing style changes and deeper plot exploration.

However, the launch dates for each part span across two financial quarters, with the season’s second part dropping on the first day of the September quarter, meaning Netflix can split the ad dollars between quarterly reports.

Experts predict that Netflix’s new focus on brand partnerships is part of a long-term strategy that will span across all its entertainment offerings.

Sergey (one name), the founder of the product placement blog, told AdNews: “The amount of product placements in Stranger Things is almost the same as many other recent Netflix shows such as Cobra Kai, Grace and Frankie, Atypical and Daybreak.”

While viewers may feel overwhelmed with the amount of product placements, Sergey said: “There are many organic, unpaid product placements which the Duffer Brothers use as storytelling references to recreate the 1980s consumer and popular culture”.

The inclusion of authentic products - such as the Sony Walkman cassette player used by Max Mayfield - adds to the show’s cultural relevance and storytelling, but also increases the audience's appeal to a brand.

However, “in the world of show business, no one advertises products for free," Sergey says.

“It seems the show is again using co-promotion with Coca-Cola, and maybe with other brands this season."

Although the total product placement advertising value of Season 4 has not been released yet, Season 3’s total was $US15 million with Coca-Cola the most at $US1.5 million.

With almost double the brand partnerships, Season 4 could hit $US30 million. 

Reebok Men’s Shoes and Coca-Cola Classic Can in Stranger Things S4

Reebok shoes, Pringles, Iron City beer and Coca-Cola Classic can in Stranger Things S4

As Stranger Things continues to boost the sales of Eggo 14% year on year, it remains to be seen which brand partnership will gain the best exposure from Season 4.

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