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Netflix Recreates Lukes Diner to Promote Gilmore Girls Revival

On Wednesday, streaming giant Netflix transformed over 200 coffee shops across the country into the iconic Luke’s Diner, the fictional eatery made famous in the 2000s-era hit Gilmore Girls. Baristas donned aprons featuring the Luke’s Diner logo. Custom signage – including cardboard cutouts of Luke himself, played by actor Scott Patterson – completed the illusion.

Fans of the show lined up bright and early to nab a free cup of joe, decorated with special Luke’s Diner sleeves. Hiding under the sleeve were coffee-related quotes from the show’s fast-talking, java-loving stars. 

The effort was part of an elaborate marketing strategy to drum up interest for next month’s Netflix revival of the show, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. Reuniting Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel and other cast members, the four-part series debuts November 25. Netflix’s nationwide promotion also had a social media element, with #LukesDiner trending on Twitter, and codes printed on the free custom coffee cups unlocking a special Snapchat filter for 24 hours.

This isn’t the first time Netflix has turned to promotional products to promote its original content. Earlier this year, the company gave out T-shirts, buttons and other swag bearing the slogan “FU ‘16” to promote the fourth season of House of Cards, in which corrupt politician Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, schemes his way into the Oval Office

T-Shirts Help Entice MLB Team to Stay in Town

For almost a decade, the Tampa Bay Rays have called Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL, home. However, in recent years, attendance at the stadium has steadily gone down. The stadium needs renovations, and, though they show tremendous support for their home team, the majority of Rays fans live more than 30 minutes away from Tropicana Field, making it difficult for them to attend games regularly.

The Rays asked St. Petersburg’s city council to allow the Major League Baseball team to search for a new location within the Tampa/St. Petersburg region to entice fans to return to the games. However, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and Chris Steinocher, president of St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, wanted to persuade the Rays to stay at Tropicana Field; so, in addition to offering renovation aid, the summer-long “Baseball Forever” campaign was born.

Kriseman and Steinocher wanted to focus the campaign – which incorporated more than 700 imprinted “Baseball Forever St. Pete” T-shirts – on the St. Petersburg community, offering opportunities for local businesses to grow.

Through word of mouth, city council members connected with a local apparel decorator to design and imprint the baseball- and St. Pete-themed tees. The designer of the shirt says he was thrilled to help promote his hometown. “The mayor used this campaign to get the community behind him and showcase the excellent market in St. Petersburg,” he says.

The screen-printed “Baseball Forever” unisex short-sleeve T-shirts were given out at Sports Bar and Fan Fest, where the mayor spoke about the campaign and its benefits to the community. Fans also garnered the tees before and during baseball games.

The shirts became so popular that St. Petersburg’s Chamber of Commerce ordered more and started selling them at its St. Pete Store & Visitor Center and best of all, it looks like the “Baseball Forever” campaign has been working – the Rays have yet to leave the city of St. Petersburg.

ASPCA Promotes APP With Branded Items

Pet owners have to be extra careful during the summer months as their furry friends are more prone to go missing, drown in backyard pools or suffer from heat exhaustion after being left in parked vehicles.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) urges pet owners to prepare for such situations by downloading the Pet Safety App, which tracks lost pets and issues emergency alerts.

To entice downloads, the ASPCA, in conjunction with fashion and lifestyle blog MyBeautyBunny.com, is giving away a summer prize package full of promotional products. The package includes a tote bag, Frisbee, beach ball and towel – all emblazoned with the ASPCA logo – and a Subaru yoga mat.

The app provides a personalized missing pet recovery kit, including step-by-step instructions on how to search for a lost animal in a variety of circumstances. You can also build a lost pet digital flyer that can be shared instantly on social media channels. Additionally, you can store and manage your pet’s critical health records and access advice on what to do with your pet before, during and after a major storm, even if there’s no WiFi or data connectivity.

In order to enter the giveaway, pet owners (18 years or older) had to download the ASPCA mobile app and then submit their information through the Rafflecopter widget.

Harry Potter Fans Load Up On Cursed Child Giveaways

The release of the latest Harry Potter book once again cast a spell on thousands of the wizard’s biggest fans, who congregated in midnight parties across the country while dressing up in costume and angling for giveaways.

They all eagerly awaited the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which (long after the series was thought to be concluded) returns to the Potter universe to follow Harry as an adult and father of three children. The book is a printed script from the London play penned by Potter author J.K. Rowling and other collaborators. With anticipation sky high – it was the most pre-ordered book in Barnes & Noble history – publisher Scholastic chose to release the book at midnight on Sunday, July 31, as was traditionally done with Rowling’s other Potter titles.

Bookstores throughout the U.S. celebrated with midnight release parties that included costume and trivia contests, readings from the series and latest book, a Hogwartsian “Sorting Ceremony” and all manners of games and activities.

Included among them was a whole host of giveaways. New York-based Books of Wonder offered a bevy of free premiums, including a set of full-color prints of each book cover, a full-color holographic Harry Potter bookmark, a lightning bolt temporary tattoo and decals for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a side book in the Potter universe penned by Rowling that is being made into a movie. Any patron that purchased two or more Harry Potter hardcover titles that night also received a free full-color mug with images of Harry from the seven book covers. More Potter prizes – including bookmarks, keychains, posters and even a signed first U.S. printing of The Prisoner of Azkaban­ – were won by customers who bought the book and then drew from the “Books of Wonder Sorting Hat.”

Others joined in with the giveaways. Skylight Books in Los Angeles offered Harry Potter tattoos and pins. Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA, was transformed into “Hogwart’s Square,” with a movie screening, Harry Potter selfie stand and giveaways that included tattoos, decals and Wizard Glasses. Target even offered an exclusive poster for people who purchased the book.

“The announcement was that it was a play in script form, [and] we weren’t sure how it was going to be received,” Bryan Samsone, manager of Austin, TX-based BooPeople, told Entertainment Weekly. “But it became pretty apparent quickly after word came out that people still wanted to congregate together to celebrate Harry Potter, dress up, and relive all these memories that formed their childhood.”

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