PBS’s America Revealed, a series exploring the systems that power America, attached a GPS tracker to a pizza delivery bike messenger to visualize “the delivery end of a vast and complicated machine”- the Dominos supply chain. The short video above is part of the Food Machine episode, where host Yul Kwon travels across the food supply chain, offering a detailed look at the system and its externalities-Â industrial agriculture, farmers markets, prevalence of corn, colony collapse disorder, water costs, rising obesity, etc…
I first learned of the video from Anderson 360. But a Google search quickly revealed it had been making the Internet rounds after being posted by the World’s Best Ever and Laughing Squid. Bon AppÃ©tit, Gizmodo, Huffington Post, Daily Mail, Gothamist, Digital Trends, CNet, Grub Street New York, Chart Porn are just a few of the 100+ Â blogs that picked up the story. While I’m still not sure how I feel about the Dow-sponsored series, the spread of the video offers some interesting lessons for how to make the complexities of the food supply chain interesting and engaging to a wider audience:
- The blogosphere loves quirky visualizations and videos.
- Reaching influencers , like Laughing Squid, is key to making a story go viral.
- Reaching new audiences, means finding more culturally relevant and engaging storytelling approaches- you have to meet people where their interests are.
- Releasing short clips of long content on multiple platforms, like the various PBS websites this video is posted on, makes it easier for people to find and share.