Stranger Things Have Happened: Digital Marketing Lessons From the Eggo–Netflix Collaboration

Abstract

With advertisements and marketing messages continuously served up to individuals in the current digital era of media fragmentation, now more than ever it is critical for brands to connect with consumers in memorable ways. The aging but iconic U.S. brand Eggo frozen waffles was presented with an unexpected opportunity to regain relevance with younger audiences when it found itself the focus of an unsolicited product placement during the first season of the Netflix hit Stranger Things, a show which derived its charm in part from the 1980s nostalgia it evoked. In October 2017, the Kellogg Company launched a timely and relevant social media campaign for the Eggo brand. The (unpaid) collaboration with Netflix focused on the Stranger Things season two premiere. As a result, social engagement with the Eggo brand skyrocketed, with an accompanying rise in sales. By analyzing this campaign, marketing students can learn about the power of letting go in today’s consumer-centric world, how great content can set companies apart, and why strategic partnerships are critical in order to drive brand awareness, consumer engagement, and ultimately sales. The case also offers important insights into the role of authenticity and nostalgia in the effectiveness of such marketing efforts.

This case was prepared for inclusion in SAGE Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

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