Netflix’s runaway hit show, Stranger Things, has become nothing short of a global phenomenon. Set in the fictitious town of Hawkins, Indiana, the 80s inspired sci-fi horror conjures all the nostalgia from the decade. From Goonies to Standby Me, Dungeons and Dragons to Eggo Waffles, the 80s is practically another cast member of Stranger Things. With this in mind, Eggo set out to create an experience that would get Stranger Things fans excited about the launch of Season 3 and the Eggo brand. But how do you do this with no official Netflix partnership, a restriction on the use of Stranger Things IP, and a crowded market place of brands cashing in on the show’s success?
You leverage your OG status, that’s how! Eggo has been a part of Stranger Things from the very start.
Beloved by Eleven, a main characters in the show who possess telekinetic powers and is prone to nose bleeds, Eggo has become an artifact among the ravenous fandom of Stranger Things devotees. But since we couldn’t tell fans we’ll be there for Season 3 – due to legal restrictions – we could certainly show them. We decided to start in Hawkins. Not the fake Hawkins of the show, because it doesn’t exist, but the 11 real Hawkins that exist throughout North America. Channeling Eleven’s nose bleeds, we strategically placed 11 faux Eggo billboards across the social web to stoke intrigue among the network of Stranger Things fans, with a cryptic message…“Strange things are coming.”
Fans started putting the pieces together and constructing meaning out of the organically posted images. The billboards even made their way on to Reddit, where Stranger Things fans are the most ravenous and discerning. The organically posted billboards were well received within the fan network on Reddit and up-voted 35 times more than any fan-posted content from Coke, Nike, Baskin Robins’, or Burger King’s Stranger Things campaign.
With a captive audience, we stepped up the strange by leveraging the time-honored tradition of fandom, the Easter Egg. We placed Easter Eggos inside what appeared to be lost 80s ads from Eggo. Inviting hardcore Stranger Things fan into the Eggoverse to satisfy their inner-sleuth. Once fans found one Easter Eggo, it led you to another, which led to another, and another which gave fans a badge of honor to make it to the end. This unique Instagram experience was innate to the audience and found an interesting way for Eggo to participate while spending only a fraction of what the other brands did.
To further this initiative, fans who made it to the end got a surprise and delight gift from the brand. Some lucky consumers were able to get their hands on a limited release of 80s Eggo retro packs were available through Amazon Fresh and fans across the country got to enjoy their Triple-decker Eggo Extravaganza during the Eggo Truck Summer Tour. The campaign generated a 6,000% increase in followers on Instagram, 11% engagement rate, and over a 500,000 fan interactions. But most importantly, it helped solidify Eggo’s rightful place among the show’s fandom and drive product consumption in preparation for the launch of Season 3.