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A Marketing Plan by Devon Hillard

I. Film Overview Executive Summary Film Synopsis Release Information Target Audiences Positioning Statements Marketing Considerations The Big Idea

IV. Consumer Strategy 2 3 4 5 7 8 9

II. Festival Strategy Target Film Festivals Food Photography Festival Kits Festival Tactics

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III. Business to Business Strategy Distribution Strategy Distribution Tactics Target Distributors

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Release Strategy Release Overview Creative Strategy Creative Samples Media Strategy Media Plan Market Research Film Premiere Publicity Strategy Pitch Letter Target Publicity Outlets Blogger Relations Social Media Marketing Promotional Contest Special Thanks

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Fresh out of college. Decent amount of student debt. A very expensive certificate that suddenly doesn’t seem so relevant after all. In the case of UCSB alumnus Daniel Dunietz, he channeled that all-too-familiar quarter life crisis into creating his own bread bowl concept restaurant right in the backyard of his alma mater. That restaurant is now Buddha Bowls, the documentary chronicle of what used to be just a post-grad pipe dream. Through an aggressive approach to public relations, creative media, and a strong online presence, Buddha Bowls will be ready to be debuted to the public in a wide online release beginning June 1, 2015. The objective of this plan is to market Buddha Bowls as an interesting documentary with a relevant message by capitalizing on the film’s most compelling elements. - Devon Hillard Director of Marketing


Daniel Dunietz is a 22 year old alumnus from UCSB. After graduating in just three years, he opened a bread bowl restaurant called Buddha Bowls that cooks original recipes in the heart of the UCSB campus. What began as just a weekly venture at local farmer’s markets is now a successful brick and mortar dining establishment that provides delicious meals to the Isla Vista community. Daniel’s ability to create his own sustainable, eco-friendly small business before many of his peers have even moved away from home makes him a model entrepreneur young aspiring business people can look up to.


Film Genre: Documentary

Anticipated MPAA Rating: PG or UNRATED

Film Running Time: 20 Minutes


Primary Audience‌ Age: 18-22 years old Sex: Male Occupation: Full-time student (Business Administration or Marketing) Salary: Under $20,000 a year Politics: Liberal political and social ideology Hobbies: Extracurricular clubs, sports, hanging out with friends, listening to music, watching movies Values: This audience is enthusiastic about the college experience and their community, and is involved with many extracurricular activities and on-campus clubs. This audience believes they can make a difference in the world and looks for successful examples they can model their career after.


Secondary Audience‌ Age: 25-30 years old Sex: Female Occupation: Fitness Instructor Salary: $45,000 a year Politics: Liberal political and social ideology Hobbies: yoga, cooking, blogging, DIY projects, watching movies and Netflix Values: This audience values fitness, good food, and making healthy lifestyle choices.

Tertiary Audience‌ Age: 45-55 year old Sex: Male or Female Occupation: College Professor Salary: $100,000 a year Politics: Conservative political and economic ideology Hobbies: yoga, cooking, blogging, DIY projects, watching movies and Netflix Values: This audience values entrepreneurship, small business, and inspiring young adults through success stories.


Primary Audience Buddha Bowls is one man’s creative way to forge a path in the business world despite circumstances.

Secondary Audience Buddha Bowls tells the story of what just might become the next big food trend.

Tertiary Audience Buddha Bowls is a compelling story of entrepreneurship and capitalism.




!  Fusion and hybrid foods have become increasingly trendy.

!  Documentaries are not overwhelmingly popular with most audiences and is not often distributed for theatrical releases.

! Documentaries and television shows such as “Undercover Boss” and “Inside: Chipotle” have created a fan base for behind-the-scenes documentaries

! Because there is only one location of Buddha Bowls (in Santa Barbara) there is limited name recognition of the brand on a national level.

! As a California-based company, Daniel is conveniently located to many film festivals and prestigious private and public business schools.

! The documentary does not have any celebrity appearances or involvement.

! Food television has become increasingly trendy.


Grab Life by the Bowls

A New Kind of Food


Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Food Film Festival

Food and Farm Film Festival

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival would harness the documentary’s local appeal and create various locally-driven media opportunities. The festival offers a submission category specifically for documentaries. In years past, this documentary category has also included a number of food and drink films.

This festival screens both feature length and short films exclusively about food and drink, With locations in New York, Charleston, and Chicago, this festival would increase exposure to the national culinary community. The festival also offers an opportunity for food tastings after each screening to increase the credibility of both the restaurant and the film.

The Food and Farm Film Festival shares stories of not only great food, but the positive practices used to source it. This festival would create a great opportunity to share the sustainable vision behind Buddha Bowls. The festival is also relatively nearby to Santa Barbara, so the documentary would have some local appeal.


Palm Springs Film Festival

The Palm Springs International Film Festival is convenient for filmmakers or Daniel Dunietz to travel for interviews. Even though the festival emphasizes foreign films, its strong reputation could offer a great opportunity for increasing wordof-mouth promotions.

Newport Beach Film Festival

Sacramento Food Film Festival

The Newport Beach Film Festival is known for hosting not only screenings but also educational programming for filmmakers and the public. In addition to Newport Beach having a similar vibe to Santa Barbara, the documentary’s shooting location, this festival is the closest film festival to Chapman University, the filmmakers’ alma mater.

The Sacramento Food & Film Festival is a very small event, but would be a great opportunity to generate momentum and positive reviews of the film. The festival features mainly domestic films, and the documentary would have an element of local appeal because it features a California restaurant.


One of Buddha Bowls’ strengths is a unique aesthetic that incorporates natural elements such as wood and woven materials with urban elements such as stainless steel and graffiti murals. The juxtaposition of these two different styles results in a contemporary and comfortable vibe that is attractive on screen and for restaurant patrons.



This film also includes compelling photos of Buddha Bowls’ menu items. These artistic shots are great to offer media contacts for press placement and also draw in audiences who love delicious-looking (and tasting!) food.




Left to Right: Pitch letter, cast and crew biographies, press release, photos and sample DVD for inclusion in festival kit


Grab Life By The Bowls: A Tasting In order to create fans of the Buddha Bowls movie, we will create fans of the Buddha Bowls food. To promote the screening, chef Daniel will create a pop-up restaurant at the film festival and offer miniature versions of his bread bowls to fellow filmmakers, members of the press, and distributors. Guests who stop by the tasting can receive a VIP or free ticket to the film screening. Once people are excited about the food, it is our hope that they will become excited about the movie.


As a documentary with a very specific topic and immediate audience, our overall distribution strategy is to be acquired by a distributor with a successful track record of releasing independent or documentary films, especially through online platforms. Because Buddha Bowls is a food-centric film, we hope to generate an enthusiasm for the story and vision of the company that will translate to a compelling attitude towards the film. Whenever possible, we want to get Buddha Bowl meals in people’s hands. In addition to maximizing the food aspect of Buddha Bowls, our second strategy is to market Daniel’s ability to overcome a dismal job market through passion and entrepreneurial prowess. His story flies in the face of pessimistic financial forecasts, and we believe this film can inspire others in his general demographic to pursue their dreams, and that financial success will follow.


Digital Media Kit Potential distributors will receive a digital media kit at all screenings, meetings, or events. The media kit will be delivered on a fork-shaped USB to reinforce the Buddha Bowls branding and the film’s culinary theme.

Networking Filmmakers will attend the screenings of similar films as well as other industry events to improve networking connections and improve chances of being acquired by a distributor.

Tastings and Screenings We will offer to host pop-up dinner parties for potential distributors featuring Buddha Bowls meals. After the meal, distributors can enjoy an outdoor screening of the documentary for their consideration. These dinners can take place in parks, closed-off streets, or other creative locations that capture the unique vibe of Buddha Bowls all across the country.


Roadside Attractions Our first choice for a distributor is Roadside Attractions, a U.S. film distributor conveniently located in Los Angeles. Roadside specializes in American independent films, several of which have gone on to receive critical acclaim including Winter’s Bone and Super Size Me. We believe that Roadside has a strong record of successful independent films and a small size that will allow our film to have the personalized attention to strategize a successful release.


CNN Films Despite being a newer film distributor, CNN films is a competitive second choice for our film. In just a couple years, CNN has worked with successful documentaries including Girl Rising, Our Nixon, and the highly controversial Blackfish. Although our film lacks the political element of many of CNN Films’ previous documentaries, we believe Buddha Bowls’ business aspects will add diversity to their portfolio within the documentary genre.


Screenings of Buddha Bowls will begin in January 2015 with a premiere event in Santa Barbara. After nearly six months of screening Buddha Bowls at various film festivals across the country, we hope to release Buddha Bowls to the United States via Netflix streaming in June/July 2015. As a niche-oriented documentary, we believe an online wide release will achieve more success than a traditional theatrical release and be more cost-effective for distributors. In addition to being a popular time for films, a June or July release will be in keeping with some of the film’s motifs including the beach, summer, and outdoor food.


Food and Farm Film Fest

Santa Barbara Premiere/Event






Film Festival Screenings

Palm Springs Film Festival



Increased Publicity

Newport Beach Film Fest

Food Film Fest


Netflix Release

The creative strategy behind this campaign boils down to the bowl. We will use high-quality shots of the product and restaurant alongside messaging that conveys the overall spirit of Buddha Bowls and Daniel’s story: adventure, risktaking, passion, and ignoring conventional boundaries. We hope that the creative materials for Buddha Bowls communicate that this is not just about a restaurant, this is about refusing to believe that you have to follow a pre-determined path to achieve success.

Creative Materials Trailers " Teaser Trailers " Extended Trailers " YouTube Preview Trailers Internet " Banner Ads " Promoted Tweets " Promoted Facebook Posts " Sponsored Blog Posts Print " Newspaper Ads " Magazine Ads Other " Billboard " Radio


Tagline “A New Kind Of Food”

Big Idea “Grab Life By The Bowls”

Buddha Bowls: The Movie Coming to Netflix June 1

Sample of an outdoor billboard to be used in Santa Barbara and in other cities with film festivals that will screen Buddha Bowls. A similar design and aspect ratio could also be used for online banner ads.


Buddha Bowls: The Movie On Netflix June 1

Sample of a half-page ad to be used in print or as a promoted Facebook or Twitter post.


Seeing as the ultimate goal for Buddha Bowls is a nationwide release through an online platform such as Netflix or Hulu+, we made the strategic decision to spend a majority of our advertising dollars on the same medium where we anticipate audiences to view the film: online. Although we will supplement these efforts with traditional print materials such as newspaper or magazine advertising, we believe that focusing on digital advertising will actually drive potential audiences to the Buddha Bowls film site or to check out the documentary online. In the three months wrapping up the festival screenings and leading up to the release of Buddha Bowls on Netflix, the online presence will remain strong through promoted social media posts, trailers, and purchased blog features. Print and other media will be used intermittently at the two and one month countdowns before the release.


Online Print Other

However, during the month of the release, all forms will be aggressively used to maximize the buzz and interest in Buddha Bowls during its first wide debut.







Online YouTube Ads Facebook Ads Sponsored Tweets Banner Ads Purchased Blog Posts Print Advertisements Santa Barbara Indy. Los Angeles Times Food Network Mag. Bon AppĂŠtit Mag. Other Radio Outdoor Billboard










To ensure that the Buddha Bowls documentary and corresponding creative materials are well-received by audiences, we will conduct thorough market research at various stages of the process. Test screenings of the film as well as collecting feedback on creative materials will help us fine tune these materials and improve the overall efficiency of the campaign.

Audience Research

Advertising Research

! Focus Group

! Sample TV Spot or Print Ad Test

(6 months before release)

(4 months before release)

! Surveys

! Tracking

(6 months before release)

(4 months before release and ongoing through marketing efforts)

! Test Screenings (4 months before release)


Especially at the beginning of the promotional process, those with a previous awareness of Buddha Bowls will tend to be in or around the Santa Barbara area. For that reason, we believe there is no better way to generate a grassroots audience than hosting a large-scale outdoor premiere right in the heart of Isla Vista. The premiere will include not only tickets to the outdoor screening of Buddha Bowls but also a delicious dinner prepared by the Buddha Bowls team on-site, similar to the restaurants’ early days as a farmers market vendor. Lastly, this dynamic outdoor event would be a great photo opportunity for media looking to do a post-event recap or film review.


Our overall publicity strategy is to use traditional media relations techniques such as pitching to achieve press coverage across platforms including television, print, online or radio. Instead of explicitly pitching the film, we will pitch Daniel Dunietz himself and the story creating Buddha Bowls. After sharing a snapshot of Daniel’s culinary vision, business experience, etc. there would be a natural opportunity to promote the This publicity strategy would generate interest in the Buddha Bowls concept first and foremost and then create an opportunity to segway into the documentary. Because most audiences are unfamiliar with Daniel or his restaurant, the primary goal is to bring awareness and increased exposure to the film’s topic and let the audience grow from there.


The sample pitch letter and accompanying materials could be distributed to contacts across all media, including radio, print, online, and video to coordinate interview opportunities as well as distribute the film to more members of the press.


Food Network

Good Day LA

Bon AppĂŠtit

Food Network is our most ambitious publicity outlet, and as a result we would pitch them more convenient or short-lead pieces such as interviews with Daniel or a pre-filmed video interview to make a blog post out of. Food Network would give Buddha Bowls national exposure and strong momentum leading up to or following the release.

The CBS morning show Good Day LA would be the perfect outlet for a live on-air food demo with Daniel making some of the most popular dishes featured in Buddha Bowls while promoting the film. In addition to the live broadcast, this footage and the corresponding article could be shared with CBS affiliates across the country.

Bon AppĂŠtit is one of the premier if not the premier culinary magazines in America. We would pitch shorter-lead web content for their blogs and magazine websites including quick interviews, behind the scenes photos, or a Q&A blog about what it was like to film a documentary.


Cooking Channel

The Cooking Channel is a national network available through cable or satellite TV. This outlet would require a longer lead time and could be usedto give a tour of Buddha Bowls on one of their shows. Cooking Channel also publishes online content, so it’s more feasible that they could write a blog post or share a recipe from the film.

Food Enthusiast

Food Enthusiast is an Californiabased magazine that is published online. In addition to the monthly magazine, the website also publishes a series of accompanying blogs. This outlet would be great for pitching a print interview with Daniel Dunietz or a review of the documentary Buddha Bowls.


Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times is one of the leading daily newspapers and is read and well-respected not only in Southern California but across the country. In addition to the paid media placement in the LA Times, organic media coverage would add to the credibility of the film and especially drive local viewership.

20 Target Blogs to Pitch !  Smitten Kitchen ! Serious Eats ! Annie’s Eats ! Simple Bits ! Not Martha

The increasing popularity of food blogs present a unique opportunity to share content with the media in a more grassroots manner. This could include anything from Q&A sessions to movie reviews or even a sample recipe used in the film for readers to make at home. Just as Buddha Bowls is a specific film, blogs will allow us to reach a specific of people with the same interests.

! And All The Trimmings ! Yum Blog ! Pinch My Salt ! Eater LA

! Food Wishes

! Kitchen Talk

! The Amateur Gourmet

! LA Foodie ! Sfoodie

! The Tasty Life

! Santa Barbara Chic

! Foodographer

! Joy the Baker

! Daily Dish

! A Cozy Kitchen


Platform: Twitter (@buddhabowlsfilm) Used for: Engaging in real-time conversations with media contacts andaudience members before and after screening in conjunction with the hashtag #grablifebythebowls

Platform: Facebook ( Used for: Engaging with fans of the restaurant, the film, and Southern California residents through geographically-driven multimedia (photo and video) content.

Platform: YouTube ( Used for: Publishing an extended 10 minute “sneak peek� of the film to the public to pique an interest in screenings. Also for sharing exclusive content from screenings or TV appearances.


When Daniel Dunietz wasn’t sure what his future held in store, he “grabbed life by the bowls” and created the restaurant of his dreams. To encourage others to pursue their passions Buddha Bowls will launch a promotional contest through social media and in conjunction with corporate partners including Sprouts Grocery and Southwest Airlines. As the documentary is promoted throughout the media, the public will be invited to share a photo of one of their moments of bravery on Instagram by following the film’s account and tagging “#grablifebythebowls”. A select number of participants will win a free trip to see a screening of the film in Santa Barbara, dinner at Buddha Bowls, and a VIP ticket to see the Buddha Bowls film.

How do you “grab life by the bowls?” 43

Dodge College of Film and Media Arts Jim Fredrick Veston Rowe Coffee

Entertainment Marketing Thesis