A viral marketing campaign for season 2 of Stranger Things promotes the fictional company Hawkins Power and Light with a working phone number fans can call. Netflix’s hit sci-fi horror series Stranger Things is coming back for its second season just in time for Halloween and its marketing game is at its peak right now.
As the premiere date fast approaches, the streaming company has been sharing various teasers, posters, a mobile game, and all types of merchandise – including Target launching a page dedicated only to products from the series. The teasers don’t give much (or anything) away but the most dedicated fans have been able to spot a few clues about what will happen with Will, Eleven, and the rest of the people in Hawkins in season 2. Now, a new viral marketing campaign might reveal a few dark clues concerning what’s been going on in Hawkins since Will’s return and Eleven’s disappearance.
Netflix and creative shop Doner LA teamed up to bring a fun viral marketing campaign with billboards promoting Hawkins Power and Light, with the tagline: “Flipping the Switch for a Brighter Tomorrow.” These billboards can be spotted in Los Angeles and New York City, and the interesting (and creepy) part is that they feature a working 1-800 phone number that takes you to an automated message from Dr. Sam Owens, the new director of operations at the company.
okay but the number actually puts you through to hawkins power and light, as if i wasn’t excited enough already pic.twitter.com/M188WvU5gw
— dracu(lana) (@wronngcrowd) 23 de octubre de 2017
The number functions like a regular corporate one, with menu directions to follow after Dr. Owens’ message and automated responses. On the main menu you are given the options to listen to the company’s mission, report outages or suspicious activities, listen to customers’ testimonials, and more. Hawkins Power and Light is a subsidiary of Hawkins Lab – the place where the MKUltra experiments took place and where Eleven was being subjected to tests.
The company’s mission statement says they “promise to light our way through every type of darkness” and they not only power homes but also dreams – a possible nod to the experiments that went down at Hawkins Lab. When choosing the option of reporting an outage or suspicious activity, the message says their reporting service is full, and that the “slight decline in vegetation” is a “standard effect of the new and improved grid that’s powering the Hawkins’ dream.” If you choose to learn about the company’s hours of operation, you will learn that they have a 24-hour service line should you experience problems such as “flickering lights, auditory irregularity or erratic electronic behavior,” followed by a message saying the service is currently down.
You can listen to the complete recording here:
At the end of season 1, Hawkins Lab’s secret program was discovered by Sheriff Jim Hopper, Joyce Byers, Mike, Lucas, and Dustin, and given the mysterious conditions surrounding Will’s disappearance, both the lab and the police department will have a lot to cover in season 2. While the recording doesn’t give any concrete details away, it’s clear they are trying to cover what happened and all the unusual activity that continues happening as the portal to the Upside Down remains open.
It’s only a matter of days until we learn more about how Hawkins Power and Light is covering for the mess of Hawkins Lab and how this will affect not only the Byers and friends but also the rest of Hawkins as the portal is still open, giving way to bigger and more dangerous threats than the Demogorgon.
Stranger Things 2 premieres Friday, October 27 on Netflix.