Hawkins Power and Light is more than just an electric company in Netflix’s hit series “Stranger Things.” The company has a hidden agenda, testing children — namely the character Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) — for various paranormal powers including telekinesis and remote viewing (RV).
At the end of the first season, the company’s secret program was discovered by some of the citizens of Hawkins, Indiana, including Sheriff Jim Hopper (David Harbour), Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) and Will Byers’ friends. So what they’ll be up to in the second season — which debuts on Oct. 27 — is anyone’s guess, but it will most likely still be nefarious.
In a fun viral marketing campaign from Netflix and creative shop Doner L.A., fans might spot billboards in Los Angeles and New York City promoting the fictional company Hawkins Power and Light with the tagline “Flipping the Switch for a Brighter Tomorrow.” The billboards also feature a working 1-800 phone number you can call.
Calling the number 1-888-355-8703 gets you a greeting from an automated message from Dr. Sam Owens — the new director of operations at Hawkins Power and Light who will be played by Paul Reiser in the second season.
The automated message says, “Hello, you’ve reached Hawkins Power and Light. Powering a brighter tomorrow in the community of Hawkins and beyond. I’m Dr. Sam Owens and my goal is to improve how we light and power the world.”
Then you are given the option to go to the main menu where you can listen to customer testimonials, get the latest news about the company, hear the mission statement and report suspicious behavior.
The messages seem rather mundane, like a real electric company, but the more you delve into the options, the creepier it becomes. In the customer testimonials, one of the messages says the company really cares about the community’s youth.
In the company’s mission statement message, Dr. Owens says, “We promise to light our way through every type of darkness.”
The biggest clue is revealed when you try to report an outage or suspicious activity in the area.
The message says “We’re sorry. Our reporting service is full. You may notice a slight decline in vegetation. We can assure that this is a standard effect of the new and improve grid that’s powering the Hawkins’ dream. We’re actively working to remedy the situation, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”
If you choose to learn about its hours of operation, the automated message remind callers that its 24-hour service line is available in case they experience abnormal grid behavior such as “flickering lights, auditory irregularity or erratic electronic behavior.” And then a series of weird beeping follows the message.
Well, that doesn’t sound good.
“Stranger Things” returns to Netflix on Oct. 27.
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