Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ Promo Has Been Extremely Over The Top
Some of those rifts looked...questionable.
Season 4 of Stranger Things is currently making headlines for breaking Netflix viewership records in its first weekend, which is pretty impressive for a show that feels like it debuted a lifetime ago.
It looks like its marketing team went all out to up interest in the fourth season, by pushing out regionally relevant marketing in Indonesia, India, Ireland, and more. And fair enough: Stranger Things is one of the most expensive shows on the platform. Each episode costs around $30 million USD to make, so the stakes were high. Plus, the world as we know it has changed pretty significantly since the last season of the show aired in 2019.
All of this is to say that the marketing team had to get creative to create buzz around a show that first made waves in 2016. Here are just a few examples of how the streaming giant had to hustle.
‘A Stranger Morning’
The Stranger Things team apparently roped in local cartoonists to create A Stranger Morning, a cartoon that recreated popular scenes from the previous three seasons, to create buzz around Season 4 and reacquaint people with the going-ons in Hawkins thus far.
Here’s a compilation of all of them.
Portals To The Upside Down
Australia got its dose of marketing with a huge rift to the ‘upside down’ (the dark alternate dimension that exists under the town of Hawkins). The portal — which many people noted looked a bit like a giant, evil vagina — was surrounded by people dressed in hazmat suits, exuding a sort of ‘we’re taking care of this’ energy.
The Upside Down has taken over Bondi Beach 😱 pic.twitter.com/bsp1vBTGPR
— Hear Us Scream: The Voices of Horror (@HearUsScreamm) May 30, 2022
Similar installations were also set up in NYC’s Empire Building, Cologne Media Park in Germany, Wawel Castle in Krakow, The Gateway of India in Mumbai, and Xbox Plaza in LA.
Code Red LA: @xbox is stuck in The Upside Down. Experience the jaw dropping rift experience at Xbox Plaza at LA Live today. Stop by for your chance to win exclusive prizes like a custom Series S console and purchase collectors items at our Netflix Shop truck. pic.twitter.com/FMEsrOAdEw
— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) May 27, 2022
An Interview With Actor Varun Dhawan
In an attempt to familiarise its Indian audience with the Hawkins universe, Netflix partnered with actor Varun Dhawan for an interview that begins in the style of Vogue‘s infamously painful 73 Questions series, where Dhawan not so subtly drops in that he’s a huge fan of Stranger Things, and reminds everyone what it’s about. The interview then morphs into what feels like a scene from the show itself, complete with an appearance from Varun’s pet Demodog.
A Collaboration With Ilaiyaraaja
To further engage South Asian audiences — and promote the show’s Telugu and Tamil dubs — the team collaborated with Indian maestro Ilaiyaraaja for this admittedly great promotional film.
Retro ’80s Adverts
People walking around London’s Shoreditch may have also noticed a bunch of advertisements for fictional brands featured in the Hawkins universe, including ‘Surfer Boy Pizza’ and ‘Hawkins Power and Light’. Later on, another 3D rift to the ‘Upside Down’ appeared on the poster, shoring up anticipation one week ahead of its release.
Nothing to see here… pic.twitter.com/Uw6Bb0ULpy
— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) May 24, 2022