'Stranger Things' Also Gave Free Publicity to an Orthodontist in Missouri
"Stranger Things" has done a good job of boasting businesses through wardrobe choices in its second season. The first recipient of free publicity through apparel was the Science Museum of Minnesota, which had a boost in apparel sales and interest after the character Dustin wore a sweatshirt on the show.
It seems like Dustin might be the key to advertising this season, as the character also wore a promotional T-shirt advertising a Missouri Orthodontist's office.
This one was a little tougher to spot, however. But, some eagle-eyed internet sleuths managed to recognize the design peeking out from under Dustin's jacket. This is where you have to really give the costume department props: The show is based in the 80s, and, according to Riverfront Times, that T-shirt was originally given out more than 30 years ago.
Dr. Wes Allai said that he created the design, which features the slogan "Brace yourself for the future" in 1982, shortly after he started his practice.
The character of Dustin is a good choice for this T-shirt. For the uninitiated, the character (and actor Gaten Matarazzo) have cleidocranial dysplasia, which affects the growth of some teeth.
One might first think that this was Allai practicing marketing genius, sending a few T-shirts to the show's producers as an incentive to put his logo in front of the camera. But, in reality, he has absolutely no idea how the shirt ended up in California, let alone on the set of a major show.
"We don't know how it made it to L.A.," he said. "But it made it."
It sure did. And, just like the museum, he's turning these free publicity lemons into even more free publicity lemonade. Through an Etsy shop he just opened, he's selling them for $19.99 each.
Brace yourself for the future of apparel giveaways.
Brendan Menapace is the senior digital editor for Promo Marketing. While writing and editing stories come naturally to him, writing his own bio does not.