On July 1, Coca-Cola will give away cans of New Coke for free at DFW International Airport.
The upside-down effort — bringing back one of Coca-Cola's most hated recipes — is a multi-layered attempt to get fans to develop a new interest in the old Coke product that debuted in April 1985.
"Hated" is right: TIME magazine calls New Coke one of the "Top 10 Bad Beverage Ideas." A sweeter-tasting New Coke was available for just 79 days before it was swapped for the original, which returned in July 1985.
(Fast-forward to 2019 and Coca-Cola comes in Orange Vanilla flavor, though. Maybe New Coke wasn't so strange?)
New Coke is aligning itself with Stranger Things, the Netflix series. Here's the deal: New Coke is from the '80s and wasn't super popular; Stranger Things is set in the '80s and is wildly popular. In Stranger Things, its main characters go inside an alternate dimension called the Upside Down, and so the vending machine from which the New Cokes will be dispensed will be upside-down.
See what they did there?
Stranger Things makes its Season 3 debut on July 4. "New Coke will appear in several episodes," says a statement from Coke.
The New Coke vending machine will be located at DFW Airport's Terminal A, near Gate A14 (which is on the other side of security). Free New Cokes will be available from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 1.
These new, old beverages are the exact formula from 1985, says a spokesman. The promotion on July 1 is the only time New Coke fans can get it in person in the Southwest, he notes. However, New Coke/Stranger Things collector's packs are also available for sale online.
Are consumers going to like New Coke now, after so many people cringed at the new recipe 34 years ago?
Stuart Kronauge, president of