Visitors to the Burbank, California location of Baskin-Robbins this week will see that the store has been turned into Scoops Ahoy, the nautically themed ice cream shop that’s featured throughout Stranger Things Season 3.
Baskin-Robbins is one of the many brands partnering with Netflix to help promote the anticipated next season of its blockbuster show. The company didn’t consult on the look or feel of the shop where Steve (played by Joe Keery) and Hawkins newcomer Robin (Maya Hawke) work together in Season 3. But Baskin-Robbins did work with the Stranger Things team to create this temporary version of Scoops Ahoy in Burbank.
Although the cast and Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer have been extremely careful not to reveal any spoilers, the trailers all seem to indicate that the fictional Starcourt Mall and its food court will be the setting of some supernatural showdown. It also sounds like Scoops Ahoy will be the stage for some of the show’s more humorous moments this time around. “I think it’s some of the funniest, total slapstick humor that’s been happening [this season],” Hawke tells The Wrap about the scenes at the mall. “And it’s a great environment for it, where the ice cream shop is so ridiculous and our outfits are so ridiculous.”
The servers at the pop-up in Burbank, which is open from now through July 14, are wearing similar uniforms, and the shop also has some exclusive branded gear plus a photo opp wall with retro wood paneling, ship wheel lights, portholes, a brass bell, and Scoops Ahoy signage for all the Instagrammers.
According to David Nagel, the senior director of consumer engagement at Baskin-Robbins, this stunt was almost a year in the making. “We read the scripts back in October; [the Duffer brothers] allowed us in their offices and we got three hours to read,” Nagel tells the Hollywood Reporter. ”You can’t possibly read the entire season, so we were all reading different parts. I got the fun job of reading the finale first.” In addition to this pop-up shop, Baskin-Robbins locations across the country are also serving Scoops Ahoy-themed specials this month, including a vanilla-and-lemonade smoothie called the Elevenade Freeze, and a toffee ice cream sundae with waffle “sails” that the chain has dubbed the USS Butterscotch.
The Baskin-Robbins deal is part of an aggressive Stranger Things promotional campaign that involves partnerships with 75 different brands. Burger King, a chain that’s featured in the Starcourt Mall, started serving an “Upside Down Whopper” last month, while Coca-Cola, another brand that appears throughout the show, reintroduced its much-maligned ’80s beverage New Coke as a nod to Stranger Things. The Times notes that while Netflix is making some money off of branded merchandise sales, the entertainment titan is not generating revenue from “many of its other corporate partnerships,” including the Baskin-Robbins deal.
The Burbank Scoops Ahoy is open for the next week and a half, and Season 3 of Stranger Things lands on Netflix July 4 at 12:01 a.m.
• ‘Stranger Things’ Ice Cream Shop Scoops Ahoy Pops Up in Burbank [Hollywood Reporter]
• Joe Keery and Maya Hawke on Steve, Robin and Dustin’s ‘Slapstick’ Starcourt Mall Adventure [The Wrap]
• New Coke Was a Debacle. It’s Coming Back. Blame ‘Stranger Things’ [NYT]