Netflix has launched a lot of really fun marketing stunts in the last few years. And now, we can say that even the streaming service’s cease-and-desist letters are savvy, on-brand and charming enough to make “Stranger Things” fans swoon.
When it comes to threats to intellectual property, lots of companies are known to fire off sharply worded letters packed with legalese and threats of lawsuits. But Netflix took a different approach when it went after an unsanctioned “Stranger Things” themed pop-up bar in Chicago.
In its letter, the streaming service asks the bar to knock it off, but uses some on-brand ’80s lingo and lot of playful references to the show — including a tongue-in-cheek threat of an unforgiving Demogorgon, “Stranger Things” horrifying, man-eating monster.
Netflix even gives the owners until Sept. 30 before they have to close up shop for good.
“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.
“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 6 week run ending in September, and (2) reach out to us for permission if you plan to do something like this again. Let me know as soon as possible that you agree to these requests.
“We love our fans more than anything, but you should know the Demogorgon is not always as forgiving. So please don’t make us call your mom.”
The fact that Netflix’s legal department penned such a fun cease-and-desist letter shows the company is walking the walk in terms of celebrating company-wide creativity. Whether companies know it or not, cease-and-desist letters are marketing materials too, and more often than not, brand letters that end up going public don’t always leave a good impression. Netflix flipped the script on that, creating a C&D that’s respectful of its fans and their creativity, and still encourages them to embrace, explore, and create within the world of “Stranger Things.”