Selling Out and Getting Press For a Food Crawl in SF’s Filipino Cultural District with Strategic Branding and Marketing
In April of 2016, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors passed legislation that would turn a large part of the SOMA into a Filipino Cultural district called SOMA Pilipinas.
In order to further establish the new cultural district, the SOMA Pilipinas community group and Kultivate Labs (the team behind the wildly popular UNDSCVRD Creative Night Market) turned to Plinth to brand and market a food crawl that would bring attention to the district’s vibrant food scene as well as generate income for local restaurants and chefs.
Generate income for local Filipino restaurants and chefs.
Bring attention to SOMA Pilipinas and entice people to explore the new cultural district.
Shine a spotlight on SOMA Pilipinas’s culinary scene.
Create a concept and brand for a food crawl that appeals to people familiar with Filipino cuisine and piques the interest of those who aren’t.
Develop a multi-pronged content marketing strategy to generate buzz, press, and audience for future events.
CONCEPT + BRANDING
In the few years leading up to 2019, Filipino food has drawn national attention mostly featuring restaurants in Los Angeles and New York. Although SF press has highlighted Filipino cuisine, it focused on familiar Filipino fare like lumpia, pancit, and now sisig.
We wanted to do something different and we named it KULINARY CONFIDENTIAL
The name is a play of the late chef / culinary explorer Anthony Bourdain’s book “Kitchen Confidential”. We branded Kulinary Confidential as a food crawl where people’s mission was to uncover the secrets and hidden gems of Filipino cuisine.
Kulinary Confidential featured high end pop-up dinners from emerging Filipino chefs and secret menu items offered exclusively to ticket holders from SOMA Pilipinas restaurants.
PRE-MARKETING food PHOTOGRAPHY
Kulinary Confidential is about discovering the nuances of Filipino cuisine and its many forms. Our food crawl featured both chef crafted pop-up dinners and new takes on street food in our secret menus.
In order to showcase Filipino food in a new light, great photography was key.
Prior to launching our marketing campaign, we organized a tasting and enlisted the help of Pork Belly Studios to photograph each dish. Great food photography goes a long way on social media and ensures that the quality and craft shows through in press write ups.
MARKETING, PR, AND PROMOTION
Our strategy was to generate awareness about the newly established cultural district and its vibrant culinary scene prior to selling tickets to Kulinary Confidential.
To create a buzz, we developed a teaser trailer and invited people to “request an invite” to get priority access to tickets. The strategy gathered 1000+ emails of interested people.
In order to highlight chefs and food featured at Kulinary Confidential, we created video interviews to be shared on social media.
We enlisted the UNDSCVRD team to do in-depth blog profiles of our featured chefs to get their unique perspective on food.
a scavenger hunt to EnticE people to explore the cultural district
A major goal of Kulinary Confidential was to promote SOMA Pilipinas and its businesses.
To get people to explore the district, we created a scavenger hunt where people could win Filipino cookbooks by unraveling clues and visiting cultural landmarks.
Sold out pop-up dinners generating $24K in revenue spending only $5k on pr, video, Photography, and digital ads.
National and local press coverage.
1k+ email list audience interested in SF’s Filipino food scene.