Netflix will resort to just about any tactic in an attempt to go viral these days, because with a new original show popping up precisely every 27 seconds, the streaming service needs to constantly stay in the headlines. This is why they recently created weed strains to pair with their shows, for example. The stunt got us talking about Disjointed for a few minutes, so … mission accomplished?
Now, Stranger Things is a much, much bigger deal than Disjointed, and we’re already plenty stoked for the sci-fi smash to return on October 27. Netflix certainly doesn’t need to rely on a gimmick to promote season two. But that hasn’t stopped them from engaging in a little guerilla marketing in the guise of a cute legal threat.
Back in August, a Chicago pub turned into a concept bar called the “Upside Down,” a nod to the alternative dimension from which season one’s central monster, the demogorgon, hails. The pop-up bar—complete with blinking Christmas lights and Eggo waffle cocktails—has predictably been a hit, and it’s set to close up shop on October 1. Well, it better close up shop on October 1, lest the proprietors suffer the wrath of angry Netflix execs.
Danny and Doug Marks, the brothers behind the Emporium Arcade Bar, recently shared a cease-and-desist letter they received from Netflix’s lawyers that basically told them to fuck off, but only, you know, in a fun, referential way.
“Danny and Doug,” the letter begins: “My walkie talkie is busted so I had to write this note instead. I heard you launched a Stranger Things pop-up bar at your Logan Square location. Look, I don’t want you to think I’m a total wastoid, and I love how much you guys love the show. (Just wait until you see Season 2!) But unless I’m living in the Upside Down, I don’t think we did a deal with you for this pop-up. You’re obviously creative types, so I’m sure you can appreciate that it’s important to us to have a say in how our fans encounter the worlds we build.”
The letter continues, “We’re not going to go full Dr. Brenner on you, but we ask that you please (1) not extend the pop-up beyond its six-week run ending in September, and (2) reach out to us for permission if you plan on doing something like this again. Let me know as soon as possible that you agree to these requests.”
And then there’s the end: “We love our fans more than anything, but you should know that the demogorgon is not always as forgiving. So please don’t make us call your mom.”
Netflix’s lawyers: Very cool! Not total wastoids! Familiar with at least two characters from their hit show, Stranger Things! Ready to sue the shit out of you if you don’t comply! But also very cool!