Coca-Cola Is Bringing Back New Coke 34 Years After Its Epic Flop

The soda failed big time in the ’80s, but it was a huge part of pop culture nonetheless
new coke stranger things
Courtesy of Coca-Cola

The third season of “Stranger Things” is coming to Netflix on July 4. The show picks up in the summer of 1985, the same year Coca-Cola infamously introduced a new recipe for its classic pop. Consumers were super attached to the original formula, though, so “New Coke” lasted a grand total of 79 days before it was pulled from shelves — making it one of the most humiliating product fails of all time as well as a cultural touchstone of the ’80s. Now, in a strange twist of events, the brand is bringing it back anyway — same recipe and all.

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When the time comes to binge the hit sci-fi show, viewers will notice New Coke prominently placed on screen throughout the season. It will also be available for consumption in real life starting May 23 at 5 p.m. — though it could be hard to get your hands on some. A limited number of 12-ounce cans will be offered as part of a bundle when shoppers buy at least two “Stranger Things” Coca-Cola or Coke Zero Sugar 8-ounce glass bottles at this link.

So why is Coca-Cola bringing this product back if it was such a massive failure? It’s historically relevant to the show’s setting, and people go insane over the ’80s. In an interview with The New York Times, “Stranger Things” creators Matt and Ross Duffer (also known as the Duffer Brothers) said, “New Coke was always going to play a role this season. It was one of the first ideas in our season three brainstorm. It was the summer of ’85, and when you talk about pop culture moments, New Coke was a really big deal. It would have been more bizarre to not include it.”

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A new commercial spot for the partnership will air online and in cinemas starting May 24. The 37-second clip shows cast members at the cinema sipping on New Coke, and it’s very ’80s. All this nostalgia is enough to have you thirsting for the most popular soda from the year you were born.