On April 23, 1985, The Coca-Cola Company launched a big experiment. The storied soda company announced that it was changing the formula for the world’s most popular soft drink for the first time in 99 years. The company’s big gamble did not pay off.
The reformulated Coca-Cola, which pretty much everyone called “new Coke,” was supposed to reinvigorate the brand, according to the company, but instead it started a firestorm of seething rage among consumers. It’s lucky for Coca-Cola that social media didn’t exist back then, because their Twitter page would have been nothing but trolls.
That firestorm ended when the company negotiated with the consumer terrorists and the original formula returned, now dubbed Coca-Cola classic. According to Coca-Cola, it was “79 days that revolutionized the soft-drink industry, transformed The Coca-Cola Company and stands today as testimony to the power of taking intelligent risks, even when they don’t quite work as intended.”
Turns out that the world wasn’t done with New Coke. Now, the totally ’80s soda is back, thanks to Netflix’s hit show Stranger Things. New Coke will be on sale online Thursday as part of a tie-in with the set-in-the-’80s TV show, Coca-Cola announced Tuesday.
How do you get it? Beginning tomorrow (May 23) at 5 p.m. ET, Coca-Cola will release a limited number of 12-ounce cans of New Coke, with the original 1985 formula, as part of a bundle. You can get yours at cokestore.com/1985.
Free cans of New Coke will also be available for a limited time via an Upside-Down-inspired vending machine in select cities, starting Thursday in New York and moving to other locations.
While the whole “bringing a product back from the dead” thing is new, Stranger Things and Coke have been working together for a while, with the company’s ads and logos appearing more than a dozen times in the series. Coca-Cola is repaying the favor, to0, as it hired the Duffer Brothers to direct an ad starring the Stranger Things cast drinking New Coke. It will run online and in movie theaters nationwide starting May 24.
So get your tastebuds ready for that totally tubular taste, and pick up some 1980s fashion inspo from the trailer for Stranger Things season three.