At the Fork

Our team loves animals. Just ask our office dogs. All six of them. So we leapt at the opportunity to partner with Whole Foods Market and the Humane Society of the United States to produce At the Fork, a documentary film about animals, farming, food… and our boss’s lifelong obsession with baby back ribs. But we didn’t stop there: In addition to the film, we created 2 websites, 1 immersive virtual reality app, a multi-platform impact marketing campaign, and much, much more.

    • Creative
    • Graphic Design + Illustration
    • Communications Strategy
    • Integrated Campaigns
    • Website + App Design
    • Marketing
    • SEO/SEM
    • Media Planning + Buying
    • Web + Marketing Analytics
    • Production
    • Video Production
    • Post Production
    • Virtual Reality
Play

Impact at a glance

100% on Rotten Tomatoes

#1 documentary on iTunes

7,100+ VR app downloads

Distribution with Samuel Goldwyn Films

4.2 million social media impressions

Premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival

Challenges

The average documentary film takes two and half years to produce. Whole Foods Market and HSUS asked us to do it in 6 months. Furthermore, our director was determined to avoid “gotcha” hidden camera tricks, which meant building trust with notoriously media-shy farmers and food producers.

From pre-production through promotion, this project was a challenge that engaged our entire team — writers, designers, developers, strategists, directors, editors, and producers.

Strategy

How do you break into a crowded documentary marketplace? First you make a great movie. Then you build a passionate fanbase to help you spread the word.

Our team orchestrated a nationwide theatrical release in 55 theaters on July 13th, 2016. This single-day special event was preceded by invitation-only screenings for critics and press in Los Angeles and New York. Leveraging critical and commercial buzz, we deployed a multiplatform marketing campaign with the goal of filling theaters and catching the attention of a major distributor.

  • Tell a relatable, unbiased story
  • Cultivate an engaged audience
  • Generate critical acclaim and interest
  • Use social proof and scarcity to motivate people to see the film on one day
  • Attract the attention of a distribution partner

Tactics

On the content side, our team created more than 90 assets including posters, trailers, a responsive website, social posts, paid advertisements, screening kits, email newsletters, promotional videos, a 21-day impact campaign, and a virtual reality mobile application. All of this content was utilized across channels and by any partner or media outlet to ensure a consistent user experience and increase perceived value.

On the marketing and public relations side, Emergent Order identified, targeted and contacted high-affinity national and local organizations to become screening and outreach partners. Simultaneously, a paid Facebook campaign geo-targeted individuals within a 20-mile radius of more than 55 participating theaters nationwide to promote the trailer and drive ticket sales. Meanwhile, Google Search and YouTube ad buys ensured discoverability and boosted awareness. And behind the scenes, community managers monitored comments and engaged fans through social media and email.

  • Original Content: More than 90 cohesive identity, marketing and sales assets
  • Facebook Targeted Advertising: Custom pixel tracking for visits and signups
  • Facebook Custom Audiences: Email list matching, lookalike audiences, and retargeting
  • Twitter Direct Messaging: Targeted outreach
  • YouTube In-Stream Advertising: Trailer promotion and web cards
  • Google Search Advertising: First position search ads for 20 key terms
  • Onsite Ticket Widget: Dynamic reflection of current screenings and ability to buy tickets
  • MailChimp: Onsite lightboxes, custom templates, list management and marketing automation
  • 21-Day Impact Campaign: Email newsletter with actionable guidance promoting the film’s messages
  • Community Management: Average social and email response time of 15 minutes
  • Virtual Reality Application: Android and iOS companion app used at events and screenings
  • Tugg + Community Screenings: 55 theaters nationwide on one day plus option to organize your own

John Mackey

Co-Founder and CEO, Whole Foods Market
Working against an aggressive deadline, Emergent Order produced a powerful feature film that raised consciousness without preaching — not an easy task. The EO team, led by Lisa Versaci and John Papola, revealed the emotional core of a complex subject. They routinely exceeded my expectations during both the production and marketing of the film. I look forward to working with their team again.

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