Case Study: An All-Digital Adventure Film, “Winds of Adak”

Case Study: An All-Digital Adventure Film, “Winds of Adak”

How we teamed up with Benelli USA to promote the film.

To support the launch of three key new products, longtime Gray Loon client Benelli USA tasked a team of creatives with a tall order: travel to remote Adak Island, Alaska, and create a full-length online film to bring massive attention to Benelli’s brand and products.

The film would become known as “Winds of Adak.” This is how our agency contributed to its success.

Our Assignments

  • Attend the two-week production shoot
  • Work with other producers to create photo and video assets to promote the film and Benelli’s new products
  • Set the overall strategy and calendar for the film launch
  • Manage all web, social and email elements
  • Report on the metrics to measure success

Boots on The Ground

We returned from Adak Island with more than 1,000 lifestyle images and hundreds of gigabytes of video, which were then used to create promotional graphics, teasers, and behind-the-scenes clips.


Our Strategy and Plan


We customized a web destination at to embed the film, capture email signups and promote the Benelli products used in the film.


We developed a month-long takeover of Benelli’s social media. Two weeks pre- and post- premiere, Benelli’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds were consumed with Adak adventure content, including graphics, photos, and videos.



We collected email addresses on the custom website, and coordinated an email campaign with our social efforts to tease the film and eventually drive traffic once the film was live online. A custom eblast accompanied each film milestone - the official poster, trailer, each teaser, and the film itself - in order to drive excitement and views.

The Film Premiere

We chose YouTube as the primary hosting platform. In addition to our email and social efforts, we wanted YouTube’s algorithm to amplify film views for years to come.

Live Aftershow

Immediately following the film premiere, we hosted a Live Aftershow on Benelli’s Facebook account to give viewers the chance to engage with the film’s main character, Donnie Vincent. The recorded Aftershow was then saved and added to YouTube, where it continues to live and earn views.

Measuring Success

A month after the film was released online, we reported extensive data and analytics on the film and supporting content. Here are highlights:

  • Total Impressions: 7,176,468
  • Film Views: 256,168
  • Email open rate: 54.34%
  • Youtube Subscribers gained: 3,400


Our conclusion really doesn’t matter - it’s up to our client, Benelli USA, to sign off on the success of the project. So we asked Benelli’s VP of Brand Marketing, Tim Joseph, for his thoughts on our participation in the project.

“We lean heavily on Gray Loon for our digital marketing, and they met and exceeded every challenge that ‘Winds of Adak’ created. We are thrilled with the results, and Gray Loon was a big part of why the project is seen as a resounding success.”

Tim Joseph,  Benelli USA VP of Brand Marketing, is pictured on site in Adak, Alaska, for the filming of "Winds of Adak." 

About the Author

Brita Turbyfill

Brita Turbyfill

Partner | Director of Outdoors 

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