Stranger Things is one of the hottest Netflix shows of the season, and many huge companies are trying to take advantage of the horror/sci-fi adventure. We recently witnessed Coca Cola and Microsoft do it, now Google can’t stand back. The giant company has an exclusive Stranger Things Easter egg for the viewers, but for that, people would have to buy The New York Times.
Yes, you will have to purchase an actual newspaper for this Google trick, as it holds some neat augmented reality (AR) trickery via Google Lens. The Thursday print edition of the newspaper had three ads for Stranger Things, according to a report, which included one for the Starcourt Mall which is at the center of the story. Google also has a blog post related to the matter:
“Demogorgon. Mindflayers. Shadowy government agencies. Things aren’t always what they seem in Hawkins, Indiana, and Season 3 of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” is no different. It’s 1985, and the newly-opened Starcourt Mall is center stage. But for those adventurous enough to look beneath the surface, they’re bound to find a lot more than they bargained for.”
Another interesting thing is that there is a Lens logo at the bottom of the ads provided with an invitation to “Unlock something strange.” That is where your smartphone heads in, as you will have to bring up Google Lens on your Android or iPhone and point the camera to the newspaper. The app will identify the ad and launch an AR experience for it soon. That involves special advertisements for each of the three Stranger Things printed ads.
A local newspaper reports that the set is presented in the dismantling process after Netflix reportedly decided against leaving it in place as a permanent tourist attraction. Unfortunately, it sounds like the mall could really use the customization. Most of the mall’s units are apparently now empty, with only a handful of shops remaining.
With the retro mall now probably disappearing forever, we can at least take a video tour that one fan was able to film and posted to YouTube last year, complete with period storefronts and products in the windows.