Sometimes, all you need to meet your favorite celebrity is a cardboard cutout and a viral Twitter campaign. At least, that’s the method that worked for Grinder Coffee in Toronto, whose employees started a 10-day campaign on their social media to gain the attention of actor Ryan Gosling while he was in his homeland for the Toronto International Film Festival. The power of social media knows no bounds.
According to E! News, Grinder Coffee began sharing photos on Sept. 3 of a Gosling cardboard cutout drinking coffee at their café and enjoying local hotspots in Toronto. Each photo was accompanied by a caption explaining why Gosling should make a visit to Grinder Coffee. Then on Tuesday, after just seven days of their 10-day campaign, Gosling actually arrived at the shop.
And this happened… #ryanneedsgrinder worked. The man himself showed up. What a good sport, a well brought up Canadian boy. We truly appreciate Ryan taking the time the time to visit us during #tiff. Take that @idriselba your loss. pic.twitter.com/8rMMWOs32J
— GrinderCoffeeGerrard (@GrinderCoffeeTO) September 11, 2018
“And this happened…” the shop tweeted along with the photo of Gosling and shop owner Joelle Murray. “#ryanneedsgrinder worked. The man himself showed up. What a good sport, a well brought up Canadian boy. We truly appreciate Ryan taking the time to visit us during #tiff.”
Murray told Toronto news outlet Canoe that Gosling popped into the shop for about two minutes to greet her and patrons. She said Gosling told her he had seen the tweets, but his mother ultimately told him that he should visit.
“He made it seem that he enjoyed meeting me as much as I enjoyed meeting him,” Murray said. “And it was a lovely feeling. He was very well-spoken, a wonderful Canadian boy with very good manners.”
See @RyanGosling we are very dedicated to our campaign. 10 days of posting of why you should have coffee with us. #ryanneedsgrinder #toronto #TIFF2018 @blogTO #coffeetime ##coffeeto pic.twitter.com/iOwnZHfnnQ
— GrinderCoffeeGerrard (@GrinderCoffeeTO) September 4, 2018
So, what did the campaign that got Gosling’s foot in the door consist of? Lots and lots of tweets, beginning with this announcement tweet from Grinder Coffee on Sept. 3 after announcing their new campaign on Sept. 1: “See @RyanGosling we are very dedicated to our campaign.”
Day 4 of #ryanneedsgrinder .Real @RyanGosling meet Grinder Ryan. Think of the fun you could have taking selfies with a selfie. If you do you get to be entered into our contest. @idriselba didn't get that treatment #YYZ #TIFF #welovethis pic.twitter.com/8tvUK1c0yq
— GrinderCoffeeGerrard (@GrinderCoffeeTO) September 6, 2018
In a tweet on Sept. 4, Grinder Coffee shared photos of their employees, including Murray, posing with the Gosling cutout. “Real @RyanGosling meet Grinder Ryan. Think of the fun you could have taking selfies with a selfie. If you do you get to be entered into our contest.” They also referenced last year’s failed campaign to get actor Idris Elba to visit, adding, “@idriselba didn’t get that treatment.”
When Gosling arrived at TIFF for the premiere of First Man, the shop offered to pay for half of his Uber ride for the 18-minute drive from the main festival strip to Grinder Coffee’s location, sharing a map of the route on Twitter. That same day, Gosling made his appearance at the shop, but there’s no word on whether he actually took an Uber.
We can’t help but love that Gosling visited Grinder Coffee because his mom encouraged him to stop by, though we must admit that employing a cardboard cutout of a celebrity to start a viral campaign asking them to visit is odd. It’s great publicity, but this is just another time we’re reminded that celebrity life can something get pretty weird.