Stranger Things season four drives £22.8m in brand placement

Coca-Cola was the show’s biggest brand winner, research found.

Alex Green
Thursday 18 August 2022 00:01 BST
Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in Stranger Things (Netflix/PA)
Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in Stranger Things (Netflix/PA) (PA Wire)

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The latest series of Stranger Things has generated more than 27.4 million US dollars (£22.8 million) in brand placement since launching in May, according to new research.

The fourth series of the hit Netflix science-fiction show, which was released in two volumes, was also a critical success and earned more than a dozen Emmy nominations.

Data from YouGov Stream in the UK and US suggests Coca-Cola was the big winner commercially with placements of 3.4 million dollars (£2.8 million) – the highest of any brand.

The company’s highest performing asset was the can with 1.66 million dollars (£1.4 million) followed by the bottle with 711,000 dollars (£590,490) and the fountain cup with 466,000 dollars (£387,000).

Stranger Things stars Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Noah Schnapp as Will Byers and Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven (Netflix/PA)
Stranger Things stars Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Noah Schnapp as Will Byers and Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven (Netflix/PA) (PA Media)

Coca-Cola’s total valuation across all assets saw it receive almost six times the value of Pepsi, which had a placement valuation of 586,000 dollars (£486,700) across both the UK and US.

This far outstripped other soft drink brands such as 7Up with 145,000 dollars (£120,460), Sprite with 70,000 dollars (£58,150), and Dr Pepper with 50,000 dollars (£41,540).

Other brands that benefitted from placement in the show include Sony with 2.4 million dollars (£2 million), Reebok also with 2.4 million dollars, and Lacoste with 2.3 million dollars (£1.9 million).

The precocious Max Mayfield, played by Sadie Sink, became a standout character in season four after a memorable storyline featuring the song Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush.

She drove more than 5 million dollars (£4.2 million) in net placement value for brands including Sony, Vans, Hang Ten and Swatch.

The most favoured episode for product placement was the series finale, which drove more than 7.3 million dollars (£6.1 million) of value and featured more than 35 brands over its two-and-a-half-hour run-time.

Millie Bobby Brown and Sadie Sink (Netflix/PA)
Millie Bobby Brown and Sadie Sink (Netflix/PA) (PA Media)

Dominic Prince, associate director of product at YouGov, said: “What we’re seeing in this data is an extremely healthy return provided by Netflix for the brands featured in Stranger Things.

“Coke, as reportedly the largest buyers of product placement in the show, will be happy with over 3.4 million US dollars (£2.8 million) in advertising value driven by their efforts in the UK and US.

“As will the likes of Reebok, Sony, and Jif Peanut Butter. Note that the audience figures for Stranger Things will only continue to grow over time, and consequently so will these valuations.

“It’s also important to look at this data in the context of the broadening push by SVOD (subscription video on demand) services to offset production costs by creating new revenue streams.

“Our total valuation of 27.4 million US dollars (£22.8m) demonstrates the value that this media can generate for brands.

“A blue-chip streamer like Stranger Things is effectively a marketing tool with monumental reach for brands looking to target even the most stubborn, ad-averse consumers.”

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