The Grandsons of Italy in America is a club for Italian men in Los Angeles, California. It was created to promote Italian heritage, culture and values. Members gather bi-weekly to eat, joke and "argue a moot point." This non-profit organization, hosts events throughout the year and donates 100% of their proceeds to several charitable causes. They are particularly proud of their annual holiday dinner for mentally and physically challenged children with lots of entertainment and hand-selected gifts.
The club needed to raise money for the annual Christmas party with the hope of expanding the guest list and providing even more entertainment. Vinali came up with the concept of creating a DVD for the purposes of fund-raising. We brought our camera crew into the kitchen and captured the personalities of these big-hearted tough guys in an un-scripted comedy that emphasized their love for cooking (and cursing). We then came up with a strategy and marketing plan. A special website was also put in place.
The trailer was a huge success and went viral very quickly. Thousands of DVDs were sold in stores and through the e-commerce site we set up. We were approached and took meetings with high-end production companies including Endemol, Coming Home, Entetain The Brutes, Granada and a half a dozen more who were interested in putting the show on TV. The first DVD was such a hit, that a second, more elaborate episode was created. The proceeds were used to throwing the biggest and most elaborate parties in the club's history.
DVD sales are growing and the potential for this project to become a mainstream franchise are still in the works today.