"Stranger Things" creators Ross and Matt Duffers came up with the idea to bring New Coke back as a way to promote the show, which will start streaming onNetflix(NFLX)on July 4. The third season of the show takes place during the summer of 1985 — when Coca-Cola(KO)debuted a new recipe for its iconic beverage.
So-called New Coke was a flop: Consumers reacted so poorly to the new drink that Coca-Cola pulled it from shelves after a few months. New Coke was rebranded as Coke II, and sold in some places after 1985. But this is the first time Coca-Cola is bringing back New Coke with that branding.
Bringing New Coke back is a way for Coca-Cola to "not take ourselves too seriously," Stuart Kronauge, president of Coke's sparkling business unit and senior vice president of marketing for Coca-Cola North America, told CNN Business. And it wasn't easy to recreate the product: Coca-Cola had to reach into its archives to get the design of right, and dig through its vault to recover the recipe.
"Maybe a while ago we wouldn't have done this," Kronauge said. "But we're changing and trying to innovate in ways that are beyond traditional new products. This is a cultural innovation." Coca-Cola recently partnered with Disney Parks & Resorts on custom designs for Coke products being sold at Disney's new "Star Wars" theme park, "Galaxy's Edge."
Customers will be able to get New Coke while supplies last starting on Thursday.