When Season 4 of FX’s Fargo was slated to premiere in April, the network planned to promote the anthology crime series with a pop-up pie shop in Los Angeles. The Covid-19 pandemic not only postponed production and the premiere date, but FX’s initial experiential plans as well.
While Fargo eventually resumed production and premiered on FX and Hulu in September, the network pivoted to promote the series with a pandemic-friendly mailer campaign that delivered branded pie kits to influencers, media and fans.
The network teamed up with experiential agency BMF to produce #FargoFlavors, which tapped five chefs to reimagine the phrase “as American as apple pie” with original recipes that tie into Season 4’s themes.
The fourth installment, set in 1950 Kansas City, stars Chris Rock as the leader of a Black crime syndicate who trades youngest sons with the head of the Italian mafia as a peace offering.
“The mailers allowed us to engage consumers with a dedicated microsite that promoted the return of the show, but also highlighted larger themes as well,” Kenya Hardaway, svp of integrated promotions at FX Networks, said. “Through this platform we were able to showcase several chefs whose unique recipes and stories reflect the diversity found in our show and the country our characters are striving to succeed in.”
Hardaway said the network asked the chefs to draw on their backgrounds and culture to inform their recipes. FX sent out 400 kits, which also include branded recipe cards and chef descriptions of the pies, as well as napkins and pie servers.
The pie varieties include:
- Berry pie with spiced cheese crust from Marcus Samuelsson
- Pay de limón from Daniela Soto-Innes
- Pecan pie with medjool dates in a tahini crust from Einat Admony
- Great Grandma Lena’s lemon meringue pie with gingersnap crust from Nyesha Arrington
- Double layer sweet potato pie from Alisa Reynolds
FX also boosted awareness around the show and campaign with a fan contest to win kits in partnership with iHeartRadio. Hardaway said the contest drew more than 14,000 entries.
To measure the campaign’s success, Hardaway added that the brand is monitoring traffic to the #FargoFlavors microsite, influencer engagement and earned media coverage.
Hardaway said FX has created delivery promotions before, but the BMF partnership marks the network’s first nationwide delivery campaign since the pandemic began.
“Delivery kits can bring a brand, product or in this case, a show, into someone’s home in a way that feels like a personalized experience,” Hardaway said. “It’s an effective way to drive an emotional connection and brand engagement that we would have previously aimed to create through experiential events.”
Fargo airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on FX, with episodes available to stream on Hulu the next day.