Stranger Things is being criticised for the heavy product placement in season 3

5 July 2019, 11:47

Emma Clarke

By Emma Clarke

Stranger Things viewers are kicking off over the Netflix show's product placement.

Set in the town of Hawkins, Indiana, Stranger Things has garnered a huge fan-base since it first aired on Netflix in 2016.

Part of its mass appeal is owing to its epic synth theme tune, banging soundtrack, retro fashion and how it inspires a sense of nostalgia in viewers - regardless of whether you grew up in the Eighties.

One way the show achieves this perfect aesthetic is by adding in props that would have been popular at the time it's set. It's also how they make more money.

READ MORE: Here's where to buy Eleven's yellow shirt from Stranger Things 3

And while product placement has always been a part of the Netflix show (let's not forget Eleven's obsession with Eggos and the way she crushed a Coke can with her mind in season 1), it seems viewers are far from impressed by season three's in-show advertising.

Stranger Things 3 product placement is ticking off some viewers
Stranger Things 3 product placement is ticking off some viewers. Picture: Netflix

One viewer tweeted: "The product placement in Stranger Things is wild lol has to be about 100 visible companies advertising their shit."

Another added: "The product placement in stranger things is driving me crazy."

A third chimed in: "The product placement has reached absurd levels, to the point of being a distraction."

Indeed, the anger may be warranted, with Netflix reportedly signing over 75 deals with various brands for this season - which not only includes those in the actual show, but clothing ranges with H&M, Levis and more.

Coca-Cola also re-released a failed product from the Eighties - New Coke - hoping it will be a bigger hit in 2019.

And if that wasn't enough, the Starcourt mall seen in season 3 of the show was built specifically for the show in an abandoned precinct in Atlanta. According to actor Cary Elwes, who plays Mayor Kline, the show makers "took 40 empty stores and made them all operational with working tills and salespersons."

For those who miraculously missed it, here are just some of the *subtle* ad placements in the show...


Like, we get that Coke has long been a partner of the show, but the amount of times we see that red and white label is wild.

The Starcourt mall is full of familiar brands

During El and Max's shopping montage, we see SO many high street shops around the Starcourt mall - but none quite as obvious as the huge ass Burger King sign behind them.

There's an avalanche of sweets when Mike and Lucas use the vending machine

When (most of) the gang visit the Hawkins Medical Hospital to visit the old lady, Mike and Lucas have a hard time getting a KitKat from the vending machine. Eleven then uses her awesome powers to get all the sweets out of the machine, before Mike offers her an M&M. Cute.

Mike and Lucas use the vending machine in the hospital in episode 5
Mike and Lucas use the vending machine in the hospital in episode 5. Picture: Netflix

Hopper, Joyce and "Smirnoff" hit up a 7Eleven

The fact that Hopper refers to Alexei, the Russian, as "Smirnoff" has gotta be product placement in itself, but aside from that, the trio then stumble across a 7Eleven store after wading through the forest all day. Convenient. And what better way to quench your thirst than to grab a nice cold can of Coke?

Hoppe, Joyce and "Smirnoff" hit up a 7Eleven
Hopper, Joyce and "Smirnoff" hit up a 7Eleven. Picture: Netflix