When Imcooked.com launched in summer 2007, the video-sharing site and social network envisioned itself as the go-to destination for anyone with a passion for cooking.
But as a newbie on the foodie scene, it needed to differentiate itself from both culinary-focused blogs and TV shows, and general-interest video-sharing sites. It tapped BSG PR for help.
ImCooked is "for those who love to cook and want to share their love with others," says founder Joseph Leibovic. "Most people who don't know the first thing about cooking have one dish they know how to make and love making it." That idea served as the core of ImCooked's outreach strategy. The site's videos run the gamut from "young chefs" sharing PB&J recipes to celebrities casually cooking family faves. By leveraging the latter, Leibovic says, the site could "become a destination for celebs looking to show the world that they're just regular people."
Using one of its most popular videos - actor Christopher Walken preparing roast chicken with pears - ImCooked tapped "into the power of TMZ.com" to generate media attention, says Brian Gross, president of BSG PR. As soon as TMZ editors posted the video, Gross says, the viral buzz began. ImCooked used that coverage to garner targeted placement throughout the blogosphere and mainstream press.
In its first full month live, ImCooked collected mentions on such Web sites as AOL, Slashfood, Rotten Tomatoes, and CNET, as well as in Entertainment Weekly and Forbes. It also saw significant increases in traffic, uploads, and community interaction.
Viral and traditional efforts will continue. A second celebrity video - Paul McCartney whipping up mashed potatoes - is currently making the rounds.
PR team: ImCooked.com (Los Angeles) and BSG PR (Woodland Hills, CA)
Campaign: "Christopher Walken dishes the chicken" on ImCooked.com
Duration: July to August 2007