As the project brief stated, “Is it a show? A lifestyle? A religion? Maybe all three.” The Creative Allies community rolled out the red carpet in a big way for last fall’s return of Gilmore Girls.
We’ve run successful contests for television properties before—Orange Is the New Black and Big Bang Theory to name a couple of great examples. Television and film properties create their own set of challenges. Typically, agencies market the release of a new show or movie with clips and stills featuring the actors or their likenesses. In a licensed apparel situation, designers are limited to a world outside the realm governed by limited image rights of actors and studios.
Even still, an institution like Gilmore Girls provides a rare opportunity to show a community’s true range, and with this series, we have a contest inspiration that captures the imagination of the millennial generation. In entertainment, sometimes you have to dig a little deeper, since you can’t depict the actual “product”—the presence of the actors themselves. Instead, you must unlock the essence of the show, and the Creative Allies design community proved the range of its chops with the Gilmore Girls contest.
Of special inspiration to the contestants were a set of the most iconic quotes from the history of the series, such as “You’ve been Gilmored.” Other quotes, such as “I Need Coffee in an IV,” transcend the show itself, capturing elements of our popular culture. While similar contests for newer shows like Big Bang Theory almost require a fan’s perspective, Gilmore Girls attracted a much wider contestant base. The contest, which resulted in three winners earning cash prizes, resulted in an incredible range of 237 designs, setting the template for future Creative Allies contests topping the 200-submission mark.
Better still, the Gilmore Girls contest articulated the power of the Creative Allies engagement platform, in sync with the reboot of the series on Netflix. Nearly 105,000 rabid Gilmore Girls fans cheered on the designs that featured a wide array of elements from Gilmore-world, everything from quotes to memorabilia evoking the show’s Connecticut settings to a wide range of coffee cups celebrating the mother-daughter duo’s favorite hangout, Luke’s Diner.
The Gilmore Girls contest reveals the dual value proposition of Creative Allies at its very best: the fusion of a global design community capable of generating passion for design, no matter the brand, as well as a truly unique experience built to drive fan engagement as new elements of a brand develop.