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Coca-Cola Brings Back New Coke in Honor of ‘Stranger Things’

A rush of TV watchers to streaming video has prompted Coca-Cola to test an interesting pour. Coca-Cola will bring New Coke back to market for a brief time, all part of a partnership with Netflix, which has featured Coke in its cult-favorite series “Stranger Things.”

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Coca-Cola Brings Back New Coke in Honor of 'Stranger Things'

A rush of TV watchers to streaming video has prompted Coca-Cola to test an interesting pour.

Coca-Cola will bring New Coke back to market for a brief time, all part of a partnership with Netflix, which has featured Coke in its cult-favorite series “Stranger Things.” The third season of the series, set in 1985, will weave New Coke into select episodes, and so the streaming-video outlet approached the beverage giant about taking part in a promotion that will boost the return of the series as well as the company’s flagship drink.

The formula for New Coke has languished in the Atlanta vaults of The Coca-Cola Company for years, left to collect dust after an ill-fated launch in 1985. More than thirty years later, the company thinks consumers will clamor for the beverage they once declined to love.

“This is uncharted territory for us,” says Geoff Cottrill, senior vice president of strategic marketing for Coca-Cola North America, in an interview. “We want to look for ways to work with Netflix, but only in ways that don’t interrupt consumers, and don’t get in the way of the entertainment. If we can find ways to integrate authentically and add value to the experience, then we want to be a part of it.”

New Coke was supposed to be a saving grace for Coca-Cola, a sweeter version of its iconic soda tailored for modern tastes. Instead, its launch is seen as one of the greatest gaffes in the history of marketing. Consumers rebelled, hoarding cans of the original formula. The old reliable returned to shelves after just 79 days. Imagine the pushback if Twitter had been invented last century!

Now the oft-disparaged beverage has a chance to redeem itself in an era when consumers are exponentially harder to reach. Coca-Cola’s big swing shows how much blue-chip advertisers crave a connection with streaming-video outlets, which often run few ads – and in many cases, none.

And yet, advertisers of all stripes are eager to find ways to align themselves with the streaming shows that have captured more attention from the public. Viewers have “added a new platform in how they are consuming content and stories,” notes Cottrill. “It’s an opportunity for us to find an interesting way to be there.” Coca-Cola is taking part in a test with Hulu, which has begun to run on-screen “pause ads” that show up when its subscribers decide to stop their video selection for a period of time.

The pressure to catch consumers fascinated with ad-free premium video has become palpable. In February, Anheuser-Busch InBev ran a Super Bowl ad that did the unthinkable – it left viewers thinking more about HBO’s “Game of Thrones” than about beer. The commercial showed a character from the HBO series defeating the Bud Knight in a joust and then killing him in no uncertain terms. Even so, the commercial gave Anheuser’s Bud Light a connection to viewers who at the time were eager to see the series’ final season.

No one predicts streaming-video will take up the models used by TV networks. “We don’t have any ad space to sell,” says Barry Smyth, head of global partnership marketing at Netflix. Indeed, neither Netflix or Amazon break up their programs with commercials, while Hulu offers an ad-supported option that includes fewer commercials than linear TV. Netflix has tapped a marketing agency, 1TwentyFour, to work with advertisers and their representatives, but Smyth notes the company is not driven to rack up new alliances with sponsors, and says the service will remain ad-free. Other marketing alliances may be possible: “We are definitely open to working with brands, just so long as it’s very authentic,” he says.

Other streaming outlets are contemplating advertiser alliances, too – even if they won’t run commercials. Amazon features banner ads from movie studios and TV networks on its Prime Video home page. There are no plans to include traditional commercials on Disney Plus, the soon-to-launch subscription-video service from Walt Disney Co.. Still, the company could offer a limited number of content sponsorship opportunities that would align Disney Plus content with promotions from advertisers, says a person familiar with the matter, much in the same way a movie studio creates alliances with car companies and restaurant chains to call attention to a new release.

Netflix and Coca-Cola have been working on the promotion for 18 months, Smyth says, and with good reason. The marketing initiative, spurred after Netflix learned that “Stranger Things” showrunners Matt and Ross Duffer intended to make New Coke part of the story in the show’s third season, required a lot of research and work.

Coca-Cola will make available about 500,000 cans of New Coke to the public, who can buy it online as part of a package at CokeStore.com/1985, or have a chance to get it at the company’s World of Coca-Cola the week of June 3 on select days. As part of the promotion, Coca-Cola will also unveil limited-edition packages of original Coke with “Stranger Things” designs on them. And the company will launch an ad in movie theaters – a remake of an actual 1985 ad for New Coke directed by the Duffers themselves.

Researchers and designers at Coca-Cola spent six months sifting through past materials to recreate the New Coke package, which uses a slightly different shade of red than the original formula. Executives had to source the ingredients in the New Coke recipe and secretly produce New Coke concentrate in an Atlanta bottling plant.

The company doesn’t expect to make any money off the New Coke revival, says Stuart Kronauge, president, sparkling business unit, Coca-Cola North America, but it will use the experiment to gauge other reaction. She is interested to see how quickly the New Coke supply sells out, tracking the Netflix promotion to actual customer orders.”I want to see how fast that goes…the receptivity, the energy.”

You’d think reviving New Coke would be a task fraught with gravitas, but Kronauge suggests the process has been anything but. Coca-Cola ‘has a side that’s very playful,” she says. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously.”

Entrepreneur, contributor, writer, and editor of Sostre News. With a powerful new bi-lingual speaking generation by his side, Sostre News is becoming the preferred site for the latest in Politics, Entertainment, Sports, Culture, Tech, Breaking and World News.

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Emmy Nominations 2019: See The Full List

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Emmy Nominations 2019: See The Full List

The 2019 Emmys have arrived. The 71st annual Primetime Emmy Awards will air live on Fox this Sunday, September 22, at 8 pm Eastern / 5 pm Pacific, and honor some of the biggest television achievements of the past year.

As usual, the major awards will be split into separate categories for comedy and drama. On the drama side, the 2019 nominations are both dominated by Game of Thrones — which is expected to set a new record for most Emmy wins by a single season — and unusually wide open. Many shows that would otherwise be contenders — including The Crown, Stranger Things, and The Handmaid’s Tale — did not air during the eligibility window (June 1, 2018 through May 31, 2019), either because they wanted to avoid competing against Game of Thrones or because they simply couldn’t produce a new season in time.

The thought held by many was that Game of Thrones would turn in an unbeatable swan song and the race would open up again in 2020. In hindsight, that final season was widely criticized and not nearly as unrivaled in its Emmy worthiness as many expected it to be. Nevertheless, Game of Thrones is still the frontrunner in multiple drama categories.

Game of Thrones is also the only show to be nominated in all seven drama categories. In addition to nods for Outstanding Drama Series, Directing for a Drama Series, and Writing for a Drama Series, stars Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke are nominated for Lead Actor in a Drama and Lead Actress in a Drama, respectively.

And the show has pretty much overwhelmed the final two drama categories, with Gwendoline Christie, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, and Maisie Williams all nominated for Supporting Actress in a Drama, and Alfie Allen, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Peter Dinklage all nominated for Supporting Actor in a Drama. In total, between the Primetime Emmys and the Creative Arts Emmys, Game of Thrones’ final season earned 32 nominations, the most received in a single year by any show in the history of the awards.

Having already won 10 awards at the Creative Arts Emmys — which were held last weekend and mainly honor the technical elements of TV production like cinematography, editing, and visual effects — Game of Thrones needs just two more to tie its own record for most Emmys won by a single season of any show. It needs only three to break that record.

The few contenders looking to upset Game of Thrones include This Is Us, Better Call Saul (returning to the race after being nominated in 2017 and sitting out last year), Killing Eve, Pose, Succession, Ozark, and Bodyguard.

Perhaps the biggest player on the comedy side is the final season of HBO’s Veep. After star Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s cancer diagnosis and treatment, Veep, the reigning comedy champ, sat out the Emmys in 2018. And in its absence, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel took home the major awards.

With Veep back in contention this year — and for its final season, no less — the series easily snagged a nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series. Its fellow contenders in the category include last year’s winner, Mrs. Maisel; returning nominee Barry; and newcomers to the race Russian Doll, The Good Place, Fleabag, and Schitt’s Creek.

Louis-Dreyfus is also nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy, an honor she has as already won six times for her role as Selina Meyer (on top of a Lead Actress in a Comedy win for The New Adventures of Old Christine and a Supporting Actress in a Comedy win for Seinfeld). She’ll go head to head with Russian Doll’s Natasha Lyonne, Mrs. Maisel’s Rachel Brosnahan (who won last year), and Schitt’s Creek’s Catherine O’Hara, among others.

Here’s the list of 2019 Emmy nominees in all the major categories:

Outstanding Comedy Series

Barry

Fleabag

The Good Place

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Russian Doll

Schitt’s Creek

Veep

Outstanding Drama Series

Better Call Saul

Bodyguard

Game of Thrones

Killing Eve

Ozark

Pose

Succession

This Is Us

Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Mahershala Ali, True Detective

Benicio Del Toro, Escape at Dannemora

Hugh Grant, A Very English Scandal

Jared Harris, Chernobyl

Jharrel Jerome, When They See Us

Sam Rockwell, Fosse/Verdon

Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Amy Adams, Sharp Objects

Patricia Arquette, Escape at Dannemora

Aunjanue Ellis, When They See us

Joey King, The Act

Niecy Nash, When They See Us

Michelle Williams, Fosse/Verdon

Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Ben Whishaw, A Very English Scandal

Stellan Skarsgard, Chernobyl

Paul Dano, Escape at Dannemora

John Leguizamo, When They See Us

Michael K. Williams, When They See Us

Asante Blackk, When They See Us

Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Emily Watson, Chernobyl

Margaret Qualley, Fosse/Verdon

Patricia Clarkson, Sharp Objects

Patricia Arquette, The Act

Marsha Stephanie Blake, When They See Us

Vera Farmiga, When They See Us

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish

Don Cheadle, Black Monday

Ted Danson, The Good Place

Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method

Bill Hader, Barry

Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Christina Applegate, Dead To Me

Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

Natasha Lyonne, Russian Doll

Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek

Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Stephen Root, Barry

Henry Winkler, Barry

Anthony Carrigan, Barry

Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method

Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Tony Hale, Veep

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Sarah Goldberg, Barry

Sian Clifford, Fleabag

Olivia Colman, Fleabag

Betty Gilpin, GLOW

Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live

Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Marin Hinkle, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Anna Chlumsky, Veep

Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Jason Bateman, Ozark

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

Kit Harington, Game of Thrones

Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul

Billy Porter, Pose

Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us

Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones

Jodie Comer, Killing Eve

Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder

Laura Linney, Ozark

Mandy Moore, This Is Us

Sandra Oh, Killing Eve

Robin Wright, House of Cards

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul

Giancarlo Esposito, Better Call Saul

Alfie Allen, Game of Thrones

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Game of Thrones

Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

Michael Kelly, House of Cards

Chris Sullivan, This Is Us

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Gwendoline Christie, Game of Thrones

Lena Headey, Game of Thrones

Sophie Turner, Game of Thrones

Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones

Fiona Shaw, Killing Eve

Julia Garner, Ozark

Outstanding Reality Competition Series

Amazing Race

American Ninja Warrior

Nailed It

RuPaul’s Drag Race

Top Chef

The Voice

Outstanding Variety Talk Series

The Daily Show

Full Frontal

Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

The Late Late Show With James Corden

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

At Home With Amy Sedaris

Documentary Now!

Drunk History

I Love You, America With Sarah Silverman

Saturday Night Live

Who Is America?

Outstanding Television Movie

Bandersnatch

Brexit

Deadwood

King Lear

My Dinner with Hervé

Outstanding Limited Series

Chernobyl

Escape at Dannemora

Fosse/Verdon

Sharp Objects

When They See Us

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Disney’s Live-Action ‘Aladdin’ Looking at $100M+ In Memorial Day Riches

UPDATED, 1:17 PM: At this time we can tell you that Disney’s Aladdin is off to a healthy start at the domestic box office with a $28 million-$30 million Friday (including $7 million in Thursday’s previews). It is now expected to hit $80 million over three days and $95 million over the full four-day Memorial Day holiday weekend frame.

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Disney’s Live-Action ‘Aladdin’ Looking at $100M+ In Memorial Day Riches

UPDATED, 1:17 PM: At this time we can tell you that Disney’s Aladdin is off to a healthy start at the domestic box office with a $28 million-$30 million Friday (including $7 million in Thursday’s previews). It is now expected to hit $80 million over three days and $95 million over the full four-day Memorial Day holiday weekend frame.

Some see the Guy Ritchie film besting Solo: A Star Wars Story‘s four-day Memorial Day start of $103M last year with a potential $104M gross, but this holiday is so wonky it is too soon to call it at that. There can be fall-off as people become distracted by holiday activities.

Regardless, it’s a better than anticipated start for Disney’s latest live-action remake, on which critics are divided but exit polls show audiences love. Aladdin is a brand that is fresher than Dumbo and hipper, being a fave of Gen X and Gen Y audiences.

We will have more box office updates later today.

PREVIOUSLY, 7:36 AM: Disney’s Aladdin is off to strong start after $7 million in Thursday night previews that began officially at 6 PM yesterday, preceded by 5 PM fan events. That figure is exceedingly better than the frumpy Thursday night start of Dumbo, which only snorted up $2.6M for a $46M weekend.

Last night was also the best preview start for director Guy Ritchie at the domestic box office; two summers ago, his King Arthur: Legend of the Sword tanked with a $15.3M opening, leading to a $39.1M domestic finish and $148.6M global off a $175M production cost.

Tracking is between $73M-$85M on Aladdin over the Friday-through-Monday stretch of Memorial Day weekend. Critics are split about the live-action reboot of the 1992 Disney classic at 60% fresh. We’ll see whether the die-hard Aladdin fans dominate or remain divided as the weekend continues.

So far, so good: ComScore/Screen Engine PostTrack exits show general audiences giving Aladdin 4 1/2 stars and a solid 69% definite recommend. Females over 25 lead at 34% (98% positive grade), followed by females under 25 at 25% (97% grade), men over 25 at 21% (88%) and Men under 25 at 20% (83%). Parents gave the pic four stars after turning out at 12%, and kids under 12, who repped 20% of the crowd and loved it at 4 1/2 stars.

If those figures maintain, Ritchie is bound to see his best opening at the domestic B.O. after 2009’s Sherlock Holmes ($62.3M). We went into the weekend projecting on the low end, given the funkiness of moviegoing over the Memorial Day stretch. Since Marvel movies have taken over the earlier part of the month (or late April), Memorial Day has increasingly become anti-climactic at the box office. Disney has traditionally tanked over Memorial Day weekend with its event attempts, but this year might be different.

Aladdin‘s Thursday also bests that of Disney’s 2017 Memorial Day attempt Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales ($5.5M off 7 PM shows for a $78.4M four-day opening) as well as late May 2014’s live-action Sleeping Beauty spinoff Maleficent ($4.2M previews from 9 PM and midnight, $69M opening). Many are comparing Aladdin to the female-skewing Cinderella, and Prince Ali also beat her 8 PM Thursday showtimes of $2.3M, which turned into a $67.8M opening.

Among the preview nights for the live-action remakes of Disney’s toons, Beauty and the Beast is still the fairest in the land with a huge $16.3M from March 16, 2017 shows.

Those who’ve seen the top sheet of Aladdin say it cost around $182M net, which is cheaper than Pirates 5 ($230M production cost net before P&A), and a little higher than Beauty and the Beast ($160M).

Atom Tickets saw Aladdin presales outstrip those of Dumbo and Mary Poppins Returns. Based on Atom’s recent Summer Movie Survey, Aladdin was in the top 10 Most Anticipated Summer Movies list in addition to the top 5 Most Anticipated Family Summer Movies. Of those that voted for Aladdin as their top summer movie, they also said they are most excited to hear the song “A Whole New World” from the movie. The majority (70%) are really excited to see Will Smith as the genie. In terms of the survey demographics, 50% were 25-34 years old, 26% were in the range of 35-44, and 12% were 45-54. Also based on the survey, fans of the movie also skewed more female (~60%), which was what tracking spotted and what last night’s exit polls indicated.

Sony Screens Gems/The H Collective has the James Gunn-produced superhero horror pic Brightburn, which drew $950,000 last night from 7 PM shows at 2,257 locations. Pic’s opening is projected at $8M over three days and $10M for four days. That’s ahead of Warner Bros’ R-rated July 2015 horror pic The Gallows, which opened to $9.8M. Brightburn cost an estimated $6M before marketing and distribution costs.

United Artists’ release of Annapurna’s Olivia Wilde-directed teenage comedy Booksmart took in $875K in previews. The R-rated film is tracking towards a domestic four-day weekend opening in the mid- to high-single-digits.

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Aaron Rodgers Goes on Epic Rant Blasting Game of Thrones Ending

The “Game of Thrones” series finale arrived on Sunday and let’s just say that plenty of fans and critics had problems with the ending.That includes a man who actually made an appearance on the show, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

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Aaron Rodgers Goes on Epic Rant Blasting Game of Thrones Ending

The “Game of Thrones” series finale arrived on Sunday and let’s just say that plenty of fans and critics had problems with the ending.

That includes a man who actually made an appearance on the show, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

(Warning: Several “Game of Thrones” spoilers are mentioned here, but you were smart enough to know that.)

Aaron Rodgers blasts ‘Game of Thrones’ finale

Speaking with reporters during Packers OTAs, Rodgers was initially asked to clarify where he actually showed up in “The Bells,” the fifth episode of the “Game of Thrones” final season.

Rodgers confirmed he was neither the archer (“that person definitely looked like me”), nor the man incinerated by dragon fire (“I’m disappointed in every person who would say that was me … total non-athlete.”) Rather, he was the one by the bell tower.

Once that was settled, Rodgers was asked if he actually liked the ending of the show he has watched for years. What followed was a lengthy, point-by-point takedown of the finale’s biggest decisions.

A full transcript of Rodgers’ comments about the show’s ending:

Were you satisfied with the ending of “Game of Thrones?”

No. I love the show and it was a great 10 years, but no. You come down to the end and Tyrion says the person with the best story is Bran? Who, by the way, three episodes said he wasn’t Bran Stark anymore. No. Jon had a better story. Dany had a better story. Arya had a better story. Sansa had a better story. Tyrion had a better story. Varys had a better story. Bronn, a lot better story. Jaime, better story. Cersei, probably a better story. Any Baratheon, better story.

Who should have been on the throne?

I think Dany should have been on the throne. Here’s the thing, though. Here’s my last theory about it. If Bran, the Three-Eyed Raven, whose all about the health of the realm. Let’s think about what he did. He basically wanted the throne the whole time because he’s the one who told the Starks, knowing that Sansa would tell Tyrion, knowing that Tyrion would talk to Varys, knowing that he’d scheme for Dany’s death, knowing that would piss her off, which led her to be the Mad Queen. So he, the entire time, set the whole thing up and then at the end goes ‘Oh yeah, I don’t want to be king. Oh, but why did I travel all this way to be here?’ No. Look, I love the opportunity to be in the show, which most people probably don’t think I was, but I was there. I love the show, but the writers are also doing Star Wars, so I think they might have been a little busy.

Clearly, Rodgers is a little upset.

Aaron Rodgers is not alone in hating the ‘Game of Thrones’ ending

That last comment alludes to the recent news that “Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will helm the next “Star Wars” movie, which led to backlash from many fans over the perception that the show’s final season was rushed as its top decision-makers prepared for their foray into science fiction.

Really, Rodgers’ comments match up with most fans’ biggest criticisms, mainly the implications of Bran Stark king-taking the throne and the handling of Daenerys Targaryen’s transition into villainy. Petitions have already been started to redo the show’s final season.

“Game of Thrones” is finally over as a television series, but the discussion around the show and story will likely live on for years.

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