Netflix, T-Mobile Want to Turn Your Phone Into a Walkie Talkie With 'Stranger Things' Phone Case Giveaway
"Stranger Things" has wielded the power of nostalgia so well that even kids who weren't yet born in the '90s, let alone remember the 1980s, are getting all amped up on '80s music and technology.
Keeping with that trend, Netflix and T-Mobile are celebrating the kick-off of the show's third season by raffling off a smartphone case that looks like the walkie talkies that the kids use on the show. We'd venture to guess that a vast majority of "Stranger Things" have never even seen a walkie talkie in the wild, and surely have not ever used one.
🚨CODE MAGENTA🚨ןןɐʍ ǝɥʇ uo sı buıʇıɹʍ ǝɥʇ. Unscramble the code for a chance to win a T-Mobile T-ALKIE phone case + great @Stranger_Things prizes. Join Erica (@priahferguson) as she makes her way through the vents. Clues in this thread! Rules:https://t.co/9SB4KeGCJG #NetflixOnUs pic.twitter.com/GsduokKWAV
— T-Mobile (@TMobile) July 5, 2019
They might as well be primitive technology to most viewers. It's like how Instagram's logo used to be an old-timey camera, or how the universal logo for saving a document is a floppy disk. When was the last time anyone has even used a floppy disk?
Anywho, "Stranger Things" has done a killer job getting us back on the '80s train, and plenty of companies besides T-Mobile are joining the party.
Burger King made an "Upside Down Whopper" to celebrate the show. Coca-Cola brought back New Coke—a product that was almost universally disliked and forced out of existence by the court of public opinion—just for the sake of trying to see if nostalgia can coat tastebuds. Nike and Mongoose Bikes are making retro products so customers can look just like the kids on the show.
Seriously, "Stranger Things" brand partnerships are absolutely everywhere. By this point, it's impossible to avoid them. But do you want to know the weirdest part of that? Netflix doesn't see a dime from it. Much like a recent college graduate who majored in graphic design, Netflix is essentially getting paid in exposure.
The "Stranger Things" backpack, socks and many other items are only made possible through brand partnerships.
Netflix collaborates with retailers to create merchandise, but the company doesn't collect revenue from licensing its brand to retailers, a Netflix spokesman told Whitten.
So instead of a new revenue stream from collectibles, Netflix is only receiving exposure from them and using the products as a form of advertising.
That's because, while the show debuted and streams on Netflix, it's not an original Netflix property. The series is produced by 21 Laps Entertainment, a production company, and distributed through Netflix. But, if people want to watch the show, they have to buy the service. So, even though Netflix doesn't see financial kickback from the myriad brand partnerships, it's in the platform's best interest to advertise the heck out of it.
The lesson here is that nostalgia is one of the best boosters for hype. The best part is, your clientele doesn't even have to remember it. You mean to tell me that kids born in 1998 remember when Kurt Cobain died? No chance. But they're still rocking Nirvana shirts with his face on it.
So, if you were afraid of trying something with a little retro flavor because people might not get it, just try it anyway. Just because someone might not have watched "Alf" during its peak doesn't mean they won't get excited when he's back in Pog form. Or if they never used Pogs, now might be the time to re-introduce them!
As long as TV shows that become monocultures depict past decades as idyllic and fun, the (possibly fake) nostalgia will manifest itself through commerce.