5 PR insights from ‘Stranger Things’

The popular Netflix show captured viewers’ attention with nostalgia and a gripping storyline. Here’s what communicators can take from it.

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A lot of virtual ink has been spilled decrying and/or celebrating Netflix’s latest hit “Stranger Things.”

The show, based on Stephen King’s novel, is an avalanche of nostalgia harking back to the 1980s and monsters under the bed (or in the wall).

With the same wearying inevitability that the monsters are vanquished and the good guys prevail, here are five PR lessons from “Stranger Things”:

1. Cleverly used clichés don’t deserve the name.

The shadowy government lab, kids saving the day and (eventually redeemed) jock boyfriend climbing through the window were all elements of the show that viewers loved.

It’s easy to call these things clichés—and handled clumsily, they probably would be. However, with a little love and craft—and through remixing and recasting these in different combinations—”Stranger Things” manages to create something that feels both new and familiar. That’s what makes it wildly popular.

We know that these aren’t lazy writing crutches, but carefully curated motifs woven together with skill. We appreciate them because they transcend the pejorative label of ‘cliché’.

A good PR campaign can do the same. A recent example is Always’ #LikeAGirl campaign:

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