Doritos and Netflix Go All Out for 'Stranger Things' Virtual Concert Featuring '80s Bands, Exclusive Merch
Who was the biggest duo of the '80s? Crockett and Tubbs? Maverick and Goose? George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley (aka Wham!)? Good guesses, but all wrong. The real answer is Doritos and "Stranger Things."
OK, only one of them was actually around in the '80s, but "Stranger Things" is set there and draws heavily upon '80s pop culture for its story and visual style. So it makes sense that the two are teaming up to promote the upcoming fourth season of the hit Netflix series with a virtual concert featuring '80s pop royalty.
The story goes that back in 1986, a tour bus crashed near Hawkins, Indiana, headed to Doritos Music Fest '86–the greatest concert that never happened. The musicians disappeared into another dimension and the show was canceled … until now. Doritos opened a portal and is now inviting fans to virtually step inside to watch these '80s music icons perform during "Live From The Upside Down."
The can't-miss lineup features '80s headliners including The Go-Go's lighting up the stage to fan favorites like "We Got the Beat" and "Our Lips are Sealed," Corey Hart singing "Sunglasses at Night" and "Never Surrender," and Soft Cell performing "Tainted Love." As the fans are pulled deeper into the Upside Down, they will be shocked to see decade-defying pop star Charli XCX take the stage and perform a surprise collaboration with one of the '80s bands.
Astute readers will note that Charli XCX is a modern pop star who was not even alive yet in the '80s, but hey, who's counting. And, besides, for our purposes the performers are less important than all the other stuff Doritos and Netflix have going on here.
As part of the promotion, specially marked bags of Doritos and Doritos 3D Crunch will feature limited-edition "Stranger Things" packaging that grants buyers a ticket to the concert. They can also enter a "golden ticket" contest to win a replica of a guitar that will appear in the coming season of the show. And fans can visit the website to create a "concert pass" with their photo on it that they can share on social media.
When they're done doing that, fans can also hit up a special online store where they can purchase one of two bundles featuring a concert poster, a bag of Doritos 3D Crunch and either a "Live From the Upside Down" ringer T-shirt or tote bag. All of the merchandise is co-branded with the Netflix/"Stranger Things" logo and the Doritos logo in the show's signature red '80s-style type.
This is the kind of multichannel marketing effort we've come to expect from Netflix. The streamer has gone the experiential route to market its shows before, especially "Stranger Things." Most of these campaigns have involved branded merchandise. And, with no traditional advertising on its platform (yet), Netflix has found other ways to monetize its properties through brand partnerships.
This is one of those ways. And it's refreshing to see how big and complex Netflix is willing to go—and how creative it's willing to get—with these campaigns.
"Partnering with Doritos on Stranger Things was a no-brainer for us," Magno Herran, director of marketing partnerships for Netflix, said in the press release. "We're always looking for ways to give back to our fans and drive conversation in the real world, and Doritos is a bold brand partner who was willing to head into the Upside Down, face a demogorgon or two, and bring some of the best music of the '80s to fans in a truly unexpected way."