Matt Checkowski

CEO & CCO
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Randi Feinberg

Executive Producer

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1855 Industrial St. #107
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1 (213) 488 9397

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Open Positions

Designer

Motion Graphics Animator

Copywriter

Brand Strategist

VR Compositor

We don’t accept unsolicited submissions of scripts, treatments or other materials.

Intelligentsia Coffee Branded Content Series

Our Role

Strategy, Content, Production, Design, Awareness

Intelligentsia launched in Los Angeles and forever changed the landscape of coffee culture in the city. To celebrate their meticulous and artful approach, we launched a web series aimed at educating the world about what they do best: making unforgettable coffee.

ACCOLADES

Vimeo Staff Pick
Vimeo Awards – Shortlist, Original Series
Food Film Festival, Chicago – Official Selection

BUZZ

Boing Boing • BBTV on Virgin AmericaTestedSprudgeBon Appetit • Esquire •
Gear PatrolDevourLaughing SquidSerious Eats • Neatorama
Early one morning...

Intelligentsia was the new cool kid on the block, ushering in the third wave coffee movement that has since expanded to shops like Stumptown, G&B, and Blue Bottle, to name a few. Headquartered in Chicago, Intelligentsia premiered their first Los Angeles coffee shop at Silverlake Junction in 2007.

“If you need proof of coffee practiced as an obsession, art form and science, this quick video —a ‘how-to’ on making a cup of espresso— is Exhibit A.”

GEAR PATROL

The landscape in Los Angeles at the time was dominated by big coffee chains like Starbucks and Coffee Bean. As avid coffee drinkers and lovers of any adventure around food and beverage, we were fascinated by what Intelligentsia had to offer both in taste and in culture to the sector. The question for us became, how do we introduce Intelligentsia to a new audience and showcase what makes them so great?

and then,

We approached Intelligentsia with the idea of web series about “tastemakers” that spoke to their commitment to the craft of making coffee. We thought that their passion for every step of the process —from bean to cup— could provoke conversation and inspire a whole new audience if the story was well told.

 

Critical to the success of the campaign was our strategy for building awareness on Youtube and Vimeo without a budget for paid placement. That began with the content, itself: it needed to be passionate, visually innovative and unique, and with a story congnizant of broader interest search categories like recipes, “food porn” and “how-to”, to connect with something our audience was actually looking for.

“Jesus makes coffee like this.”

YOUTUBE USER

We next plugged the content into an established audience of online advocates through niche coffee blogs and web channels, taking advantage of the respect Intelligentsia had among the experts.

“I respect this guy’s passion but that dark crema with a lighter spot in it would be considered a bad case of over-extraction in Italy.”

VIMEO USER (ITALIAN)

The end goal was a branded content series that was authoritative within the coffee scene, but had broad appeal and connected with non-coffee drinkers through the obsession of the craftsman on the screen.

As important as the beats of each story was the visual design of the series. Our task became to create something that, in addition to telling a great story, would be on brand, visually striking and worth talking about.

 

Coffee was the absolute obsession of all of the good people at Intelligentsia, and we wanted our audience to experience that through the barista’s eyes. The singular focus on the craft —and the bean— came to life visually as the only color in a black and white world. We hand traced every frame of video to perfectly select the coffee; if just one bean or drip was out of place, it wouldn’t have worked. It was the perfect pairing of like-minded workers; the Intelligentsia professionals were as obsessive about the perfect cup as we were about creating the most visually dynamic and thoughtful videos.

“Made the pilgrimage on the way from NZ to Europe last week. Coffee will never be the same again. Expectations fulfilled and more. Waaaay more…”

VIMEO USER

As the piece-de-resistance of the video, we custom designed a typeface for the series. Just like every brew, every element to the videos was bespoke.

 

alas,

Our videos went viral, with over 750,000 views across Youtube and Vimeo, made even more substantial because Intelligentsia’s social media following at the time was just over 30,000 users.

 

Tastemakers_VA_Comp_02v1

Boing Boing TV on Virgin America’s in-flight TV network

 

All of our media was earned, including pick-ups on outlets like Esquire, Bon Appetit, Laughing Squid, Serious Eats, Sprudge, Patagonia, and Boing Boing, including a feature on their in-flight channel partnership with Virgin America, BBTV. Ad value equivalency found that our coverage had an estimated million dollars of ad value worth, and earned the attention of Electrolux, who later hired us to replicate the project for their brand in a ten episode series that spanned the globe. Perhaps the best endorsement came from an unnamed Los Angeles hipster…

“Holy shit. You made those videos? Everyone here has used those as training films.”

THE COMPETITION

the end.