Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Strange rifts across the globe? See how this Netflix series turned the marketing world UPSIDE DOWN! [Thursday: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

November 30, 2023

Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.

A Note from Miles Everson:

Unconventional marketing brings awe to people and success to businesses. One type of this strategy is guerrilla marketing, which requires boundless creativity and out-of-the-box ideas from marketers.

I personally find guerrilla marketing astonishing because it is applicable to any company.

Today, we will delve into a GIANT marketing event executed by Netflix for one of its TV series.

Continue reading to know how this tactic unfolded on a global scale and left viewers in awe.

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing

Do you believe in an alternate universe? If so, how do you imagine it?




In this famous Netflix TV series, there exists an alternate dimension, one that is gruesome and hell-like, and it’s referred to as the “Upside Down.” So, in a 2022 marketing stunt for this series, the marketing team brought the entrance (rifts) to the “Upside Down” into the real world, and these rifts were witnessed in different countries.

The name of this series?

Stranger Things!

Photo from: The Maroon

“Stranger Things,” a captivating blend of science fiction, supernatural elements, horror, and drama, made its debut in 2016 and has since grown to include four seasons, with the latest season released in May 2022.

The Netflix series follows the adventures of a group of young friends—Eleven, Will, Mike, Lucas, and Dustin—in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, as they confront menacing creatures from the eerie “Upside Down.” Set against the backdrop of the 1980s, the show evokes a sense of nostalgia that resonates with contemporary audiences.

The central conflict in the series revolves around the existence of the “Upside Down,” an alternate dimension mirroring the real world. This world is inhabited by monsters like the Demogorgon, Mind Flayer, and Vecna, which pose significant threats to the residents of Hawkins. The rifts to the “Upside Down” appear unexpectedly in various locations.

Some of you who’ve watched the show might have asked this question:

“What if these rifts suddenly appear in our world too?”

Actually, they already did! These rifts were brought to our world as part of Netflix’s marketing stunt for “Stranger Things’” Season 4 in May 2022.


Through the Upside Down Rifts Around the World!

Photo from: Netflix

To celebrate and promote “Stranger Things” Season 4, Netflix’s marketing team came up with a clever guerrilla marketing stunt that took place in 13 countries, namely the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Australia, Poland, Sweden, Malaysia, India, Colombia, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, and Spain.

“Stranger Things” worked with different advertising agencies from different countries such as Giant Spoon in New York, BBH in London, and Dentsu in Tokyo to execute the stunts.

To kickstart the marketing idea, the official “Stranger Things” Twitter account tweeted a graphic post containing coordinates designed upside down. The tweet’s caption read:

“Something big is coming. Find your city, and that’s where we’ll be.”

Two days after the tweet, people witnessed gigantic “Upside Down” rifts displayed on prominent buildings and monuments. Famous landmarks like the Empire State Building in New York, the Wawel Castle in Krakow, and the Gateway of India in Mumbai were among the locations that featured these rifts. These landmarks matched the coordinates in the tweet.

Photo from: Netflix

The purpose of these global rifts was to transport viewers back to the 1980s, allowing them to experience the “Upside Down” and offering a 15-minute glimpse of “Stranger Things’” 4th season.

Here’s what happened to some of the rifts across the globe:

  • In New York City, the rift opened on the facade of the Empire State Building, showing a realistic visual of the “Upside Down.”
  • In Sydney, a huge set-up of deep vines was installed at Bondi Beach’s golden sands, which opened a gateway to the “Upside Down.” The installation was completed with scientists in hazmat suits patrolling the area.
  • In Milan, the rift opened in the famous Duomo Square, which allowed fans to witness the “Upside Down” right in front of them.

Photo from: Netflix

The spectacles were enhanced using various technologies, including projection, playback technology, smoke machines, audio, and lighting. The two-hour light show was designed by acclaimed lighting and production designer, Marc Brickman.

The main message conveyed by the rifts was clear: “Things are about to turn upside down…”

So, was the “Stranger Things” Global Rift event effective?

  • The “Stranger Things” Global Rift event attracted thousands of global viewers during the show, generated over 190 million organic impressions on press headlines covering the event, and garnered more than 100 million impressions in global influencer reach.
  • The Global Rift event also became the jump-off point for “Stranger Things” season 4 to rapidly become the most-watched English-language series ever in Netflix history.

The “Stranger Things” Global Rift event also bagged the following awards:

  • A Gold Award under the Netflix Los Gatos’ Television/Series Takeover category at the 2022 Clio Awards
  • A Webby Award under the Advertising, Media & PR Best Event Activation category at the 2023 Webby Awards
  • A People’s Voice Award under the Advertising, Media & PR Best Event Activation category at the 2023 Webby Awards

Truly, this is an out-of-this-world marketing campaign!

Kudos to Netflix, “Stranger Things,” and the marketing agencies who took part in the successful execution of the rifts in different parts of the world!


There’s a couple of not-so-strange marketing strategies you can learn from the “Stranger Things’” guerrilla marketing event:

First, be imaginative and clever. Try to immerse your audience in the worlds of the shows or brands you are promoting, just like the marketing team behind “Stranger Things.” There are no limits when it comes to creativity!

Second, engage as many audiences as possible“Stranger Things” succeeded in this aspect by utilizing large and famous landmarks around the world, ensuring that many people would witness the marketing stunts. You can also try this wide-ranging marketing strategy or consider this tip in expanding your business’ reach!

We hope this article took you to another dimension of marketing!

Remember that in guerrilla marketing, you have the freedom to be as creative as you like. So, always go for ideas that will bring new experiences and leave lasting and positive impressions on your target audience.

It’s your time to start crafting your own out-of-this-world guerrilla marketing strategy!

In line with MBO Partners’ continuous dedication to supporting you and your business, we want to notify you about an opportunity to access potential tax credits of up to USD 32,200.

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provides specific provisions for self-employed individuals, known as the Self Employed Tax Credit (SETC), for which nearly everyone with Schedule C income qualifies. This acknowledges the unique challenges faced by those who work independently especially during times of illness, caregiving responsibilities, quarantine, and other circumstances.

There are two criteria you must meet to qualify for receiving the tax credit of up to USD 32,200. Click here to see how you can obtain the SETC to know more about this.

Act NOW! This credit will expire on April 15, 2024, so we encourage you to submit early to see if your business qualifies. Also, if you know others who may qualify for the SETC, you may share these details with them.

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing”

Jay Conrad Levinson (1984) said that Guerrilla Marketing “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.”

Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional.

Looking beyond the traditional ways of advertising, marketers and advertisers need to spice things up in order for their brand to have campaigns that not only make an impact but also stick to their target market’s mind.

Guerrilla Marketing usually aims to have direct contact with consumers.

This type of direct contact should spark an emotional reaction that leads to consumers effectively remembering the brand.

It’s about making a big impression and making that impression last a long time (if not forever).

Guerrilla Marketing can be inexpensive.

The effect of this is being able to create a buzz around the brand, and the strategy used to market it. Almost everything is passed around through word-of-mouth.

Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest outcomes and it usually doesn’t cost anything.

This is every business’ or brand’s dream!

Every Thursday, we publish tips, examples, and other useful content on unconventional ways of marketing and promotion.

Learn more about how to grab your target market’s attention and make an amazing first and lasting impression without having to spend a lot of money.

Businesses don’t really need to spend much for a guerrilla campaign. You do not need a big budget to be successful. You just need creativity and a good imagination.

Hope you’ve found this week’s guerrilla marketing insight interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Thursday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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