Stranger Things Drives Combined Brand Placement Value Over $27 Million

According to research from YouGov, Coca-Cola was the biggest benefactor from appearing in the fourth season

Coca-Cola received the highest placement value of any brand during the run of Netflix’s fourth season of Stranger Things, with the series generating a combined $27.4 million, claims new research.

The latest installments of the ’80s-based sci-fi horror show was released at the end of May and beginning of July across nine episodes with an audience size of around 0.6 billion (or 600 million) people across the U.K. and U.S. within the first few months, claims YouGov.

Through YouGov Stream, the research organization has revealed the values of brands featured in the series, with Coca-Cola receiving $3.4 million of value through the placement of its cans (valued at $1.66 million,) bottles ($711,000) and fountain cups ($466,000). Sony and Reebok were both valued at $2.4 million.

Coca-Cola’s value was seen to be almost six times that of rival Pepsi which had a placement valued at $586,000, while other soft drink brands featured included 7Up ($145,000), Sprite ($70,000) and Dr. Pepper ($50,000).

Another brand to feature heavily was the peanut butter brand Jif which saw its total value across the U.K. and U.S. set at $1.24 million.

Product placements to the max

To calculate the value of product placements, YouGov Stream combines viewership data with marketing rates to calculate gross valuations of spaces where product placements appear.

Sony and Reebok both saw placement values of $2.4 million while Lacoste, which had its white polo shirt worn by one of the characters throughout the whole of the second episode, was valued at $2.3 million. According to data around this particular episode, the audience was split almost equally between male (49%) and female (51%), skewed more toward millennials who made up 33% of the audience with 27% Gen Z.

The character of Max Mayfield, played by Sadie Sink, was the favorite character for brands, with her involvement driving a combined $5 million in placements. Her choice of music, “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush, drew huge demand for the song through streaming platforms, despite it originally being released in 1985.

The character also drove value for Vans ($1.4 million), Hang Ten ($1.2 million) and Swatch ($200,000).

Dominic Prince, associate director of product at YouGov, said in a statement: “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 in advertising value driven by their efforts in the U.K. and U.S. As will the likes of Reebok, Sony and Jif Peanut Butter.”

Prince added that the audience would only grow over time, which will see the valuations increase in turn.

“It’s also important to look at this data in the context of the broadening push by streaming video on demand services to offset production costs by creating new revenue streams. Our total valuation of $27.4 million 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,” Prince concluded.

The final episode of the season, which ran at over two-and-a-half hours, drove over $7.3 million in value with over 35 different brands appearing.

Originally published by AdWeek, written by Stephen Lepitak

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