Netflix’s Gilmore Girls Pop-up Coffee Shops Were a Massive Hit on Snapchat

Fans viewed the Luke's Diner filter 880,000 times

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Netflix's recent takeover of 200 local cafés to promote the revival of Gilmore Girls got a major branding boost from Snapchat.

On Oct. 5, Netflix recreated the fictional café Luke's from Gilmore Girls, serving up free coffee to promote the four-part series that premieres on the video-streaming service next month. Snapcodes—Snapchat's version of a QR code—were printed on 10,000 cups that were distributed at all of the pop-up cafes. Here's how the Snapcode worked: People opened the Snapchat app and took a picture of the decal. Then Snapchat prompted them to apply the sponsored filter to their photos for one hour.

Netflix's branded filter included an image of a toaster and sign from Luke's and was viewed 880,000 times. Snapchat said the one-day marketing stunt reached more than 500,000 people.

This is the first time Snapchat has shared stats about its month-old ad offering, called Snap to Unlock, that's designed to give branded geofilters a boost. In September, the mobile app quietly began offering advertisers free Snapcodes when they purchase a location-based filter that drops graphics and videos on top of users' selfies. Placing Snapcodes on print ads and packaging not only leads users to a filter—it gives marketers data on how many people see and use a Snapchat campaign.

Universal Pictures used the technology earlier this fall to add a digital component to a subway billboard campaign that promoted the film The Girl on the Train in seven markets: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Boston.

While Snapcodes are new to Snapchat's formal ad pitch, a number of brands including Sprite, Burberry and Cinnabon have experimented with the 2D scannable barcodes in the past year.

@laurenjohnson Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.