Luke’s for a day

Impressive guerrilla marketing campaign turns local coffee shops into everyone’s favorite Stars Hollow diner

Last week, coffee shops all over the nation rebranded themselves for a day as “Luke’s” — the fictional diner from the TV show Gilmore Girls. This bit of marketing genius was part of a promotional effort to promote the new Gilmore Girls Netflix miniseries.

In South Carolina, only one coffee shop was selected to be Luke’s: The Wired Goat in the Vista. As a Gilmore Girls fan, I was looking forward to stopping by and getting my cup with a Luke’s coffee cup sleeve. (I'm also a Wired Goat fan... that's where AIGA South Carolina holds it's monthly coffee meet ups.)

 The line stayed this long pretty much all day.

The line stayed this long pretty much all day.

I expected it to be crowded, but when I got to the Wired Goat, I was floored. The line extended out the door and down the alley. I drove by a couple of times that day, thinking that eventually the line would get shorter. It didn't. Fans kept coming until there was no more coffee to be sold. Gilmore Girls fans gathered from all around to celebrate one of their favorite shows. (I even heard stories of fans driving from adjacent states to be part of the Luke’s experience.)

Kudos to the ad agency or marketing firm that dreamed up this campaign. It really is a perfect guerrilla marketing scheme, with every participant getting something out of it. Netflix gets the exposure they want with a relatively minor investment. The selected coffee shops get positive exposure and additional traffic for the day. And the fans get a place to celebrate with other fans and then share their experience online. 

I never made it into the Wired Goat that day. I’m a Gilmore Girls fan, but I just couldn’t spend an hour in line. A few days later, though, my wife and I made in to the Wired Goat and they still had the Luke’s coffee sleeve. 

And, of course, we took pictures and shared them.

 My serious coffee face, with A Luke's cup.

My serious coffee face, with A Luke's cup.


Bob Wertz writes about design, technology and pop culture at Sketchbook B. Bob is a Columbia, South Carolina-based designer, creative director, college instructor, husband and dad. He’s particularly obsessed with typography, the creative process and the tools we use to create. In his spare time, he loves to binge watch 1990's television series. Follow Bob on Twitter and Instagram.