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Gilmore Girls fans take to Connecticut to experience real-life Stars Hollow

Netflix?s upcoming Gilmore Girls reboot series has incited a wide range of themed-marketing ploys that lean on the show?s frenzied social media discussion with the latest being Connecticut?s board of tourism bringing the fictional program to life. 

With the show?s pending release on Netflix?s streaming platform coming this Friday, social media is fervent with content devoted to Gilmore?s Girls, celebrating its previous series and anticipating the upcoming. The state of Connecticut, the setting for the cult classic, is using this time to celebrate with fans and strengthen tourism with a selfie map tour. 

"We welcome everyone to come and experience the charming towns, restaurants, hotels and B&Bs, and other locations in Connecticut that sparked the setting for the popular Gilmore Girls series," said Randy Fiveash, director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism. 

Fan frenzy 
Connecticut?s board of tourism is giving Gilmore Girls fans all the tools they need to build their fan-centric trip of a lifetime by mapping out notable locations on their tourism Web site, noting important selfie spots, sharing content on social media and building a page for the fictional town of Stars Hollow. Hoping fans of Gilmore Girls will come visit their favorite spots from the television series, Connecticut is making it easy on fans to book their vacation while also sharing their experience on social media along the way. 

For instance, vacationers can stay at the Mayflower Inn, which inspired the Independence Inn ? the main place of employment for Lorelai Gilmore, one of the main characters. Another iconic location is the gazebo located in New Milford, whose fictional counterpart is the center of the town of Stars Hollow. 

Gilmore Girls first aired on the WB network in 2000 and ran until 2007. But the show?s unexpected departure from its creator caused disappoint for fans in the later seasons, and Netflix has resurrected the series to redeem its ending. 

The series will be released all at once on Friday, Nov. 25, on Black Friday. 

On-site social activations 
Netflix also recently created a similar experience of bringing Stars Hollow to life by introducing popup Luke?s Diners throughout major metropolitan areas. With the main characters known for their addiction to coffee, they frequent a fictional restaurant in the town named Luke?s Diner to get their daily fix. 

Coffee shops all around the United States were transformed into Luke?s Diners for one day to give away free coffee to fans. Each coffee cup was fitted with a coffee sleeve that included a bar code for a secret filter. 

The marketing ploy overtook social media for the day of Oct. 5. 

Networks and brands that are combining real-life experiences like this are winning out with consumers. The content overtakes social media and creates a viral experience, while also delighting consumers. 

Toyota did that as well by taking a page from Willy Wonka?s playbook and turned hidden Snapchat geofilters into golden tickets that provided entrance to a special musical performance at Lollapalooza. The experience was only open only to those who found and screen shot the content on their smartphones. 

The automaker tapped into the hype surrounding the 25th anniversary of Lollapalooza by sponsoring an exclusive extra hour of the music festival and leveraging Snapchat as an entrance method. Users that found the geofilter on the social media platform were given the time and location of the performance and had to save the photo in order to gain entry (see more). 

Connecticut is hoping the Gilmore Girls experience will hopefully mirror these successful social media activations and see a wide range of user-generated content. 

"We are thrilled to be part of the excitement,? Mr. Fiveash said.