Stranger Things: The Drive-Into Experience is an hour-long, immersive event in downtown Los Angeles. Attendees drive into Hawkins, Indiana, the series' fictional setting, where they're transported back to 1985 to experience the town and all its horrors. Consumers visit locations from the show, encounter familiar characters, interact with live performers, and play out storylines in real time.
The event is centered on the Hawkins High Reunion, the big alumni gathering where—uh-oh—things take a turn for the horrifying. A ticket also offers attendees access to the Hawkins Online Portal, the webpage of the reunion. (Yes, the reunion takes place in 1985. Suspend your disbelief.) There, they can learn explore the world in greater detail and learn more about the drive-through experience.
The experience offers a COVID-safe alternative to traditional haunted houses and immersive theater events. Far from being a Halloween-centric one-off, the branded experience has dates available through March 2021. Tickets, which have to be ordered well in advance, include the standard access pass or the VIP package, which offers a Fast Track Entry, a special welcome from the team, and a “mystery box” of swag.
PSFK researchers featured Stranger Things: The Drive-Into Experience as one of the ways brands and retailers are leveraging the financial and spatial capacities at their disposal to fill the void left behind cancelled events and other activations. Find more examples in the research paper here.