A number of licensing partners have joined forces with Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things 3’. Cocoa-Cola is reviving its New Coke, a product introduced (and discontinued) in the summer of 1985, which is when the new season is set. Nike is bringing out three styles of their shoes made in 1985, in signature ‘Stranger Things’ colors, and there are also tie-ins with eateries Burger King and Baskin Robbins.
Now Kellogg’s is jumping in by rolling out retro packaging for its Eggo waffles, the breakfast staple that was indelibly connected to the show in Season 1 when Eleven fell in love with them and wound up shoplifting an armful of boxes from the local grocery store. The new old Eggo boxes are the same design as those sold in 1985 and will be available online just in time for 4th of July, which happens to be when ‘Stranger Things 3’ launches. The problem? This isn’t an official licensing deal.
If you visit the Eggo homepage, you’ll see an ad featuring an old TV in front of wood paneling just like that found in Joyce Byer’s living room. A poster reads “Eggo to the MAX in 1985.” Max is obviously the name of one of the show’s protagonists, portrayed by Sadie Sink. The TV flickers the message “One Eggo Can Change Everything,” a play on the new season’s catchphrase, “One Summer Can Change Everything.” And just for added emphasis, the “E” in “Eggo” drips blood, similar to the way Eleven’s nose bleeds when she uses her telekinetic powers.
Below that, there is the tagline:
“We’ve found something really curious about these lost Eggo ads from 1985. Climb down into the past with Eggo and see… Where will you end up?”
The words “down” and “up” are italicized, referencing the show’s “Upside Down” pocket dimension.
The page also reads:
“Stock up for the big 4th of July bash 1985-style. Order the Limited Edition 1985 Eggo Box from AmazonFresh now while you still can!
After the 4th of July, keep the retro Eggo celebration going. Hunt for the rare Limited Edition 1985 Eggo Boxes in select stores across the US, beginning in July, while supplies last.”
The new season not only launches on the 4th of July, but the Independence Day holiday plays a part in the storyline. In fact, one assortment of Nike ‘Stranger Things’ shoes come in red, white, and blue.
But with all of these leading phrases and imagery, NOWHERE on the website are ‘Stranger Things’ or Netflix mentioned by name. This means that Kellogg’s apparently knew that they automatically had a connection to the show, and decided to cash in on it without paying a licensing fee to officially create a partnership.
Based on the text, it doesn’t sound as though this is a very big campaign, so it may not be worth it for Netflix or the Duffer Brothers to take any legal action, but if they do — I mean, I’m no lawyer, but the references are pretty blatant. Besides, wouldn’t Eggo boxes bearing ‘Stranger Things’ branding sell better than just the old style boxes from 1985?
About a year ago, Kellogg reported slumping sales for their frozen breakfast pastries, owing to the lack of a new season of ‘Stranger Things’. They also indicated that sales received a huge jolt when ‘Stranger Things’ first launched and that social media mentions of the product reached an all-time high.
So it’s understandable that they want to spur sales by latching on to ‘Stranger Things’, but… maybe they should pay for that?