Food Fight :: Viral Video
Three moms in Charlottesville were taking on Big Fast Food, in an online contest from a site called yoxi.com. They had survived a few rounds of elimination and I wanted to help boost their chances at taking down the clown.
This “beat” poetry spot I wrote was shot in a makeshift boxing ring in a local mixed-martial arts facility. Key was making it look enough like Ronald without actually being Ronald (local actor Jon Emm, playing the pugilist clown). Incidentally, those stars and stripes Rocky Balboa shorts on Denise Stewart are mine. Music from our good friends at We Are Star Children.
The spot culminated in the creation of a fictional non-profit NOMAC – the National Organization of Mothers Against Clowns. And although they got passionate support from a lot of moms (and dads), they were eventually eliminated in the semi-finals (by some hipsters in New Haven hawking Pad Thai in a pita). At least they didn’t go down without a fight.
This was their mid-competition press release:
“By 2020, half of Americans will be diabetic,” warns Ivana Kadija, a Charlottesville health coach. “Somebody has to do stand up and do something … if only to protect the kids.”
She and two other Charlottesville moms (teacher Emily Morrison and non-profit exec Wendy Philleo) have been selected by a nationwide competition to redefine fast food. In the last round, their team, “Food For Thought,” came first in votes, bringing them to the semifinals.
If they win, they could receive up to $40k to help promote their idea, and change the face of food in America and more importantly in Charlottesville, where they head up the Charlottesville Food Initiative.
Their primary focus in this competition is to address predatory fast food marketing directed at children. According to the American Psychological Association, it is “fundamentally unfair” to market to children 8 and under, “who can’t recognize the persuasive intent of advertising and to filter its messages accordingly.”
What irks these moms most is the “pester power” fast food marketers rely on. If children beg enough, they’ll get busy parents to bring them to the burger joints. The junk food industry directs $1.6 billion in ad revenue at kids in the US every year. It pays off. According to market studies, 40% of kids ask for fast food once a week. 15% of preschoolers ask for it every day. What are they getting? Bad nutrition and early-onset diabetes.
“Of 3,000 fast food franchise kids’ meals offered only 15 meet minimum nutrition criteria,” quotes Kadija, citing a recent study by Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity. One in five American kids is obese. And one in three faces a life with diabetes. “Can’t these companies see they’re killing kids?”
The moms’ first target: the clown. McDonalds far outspends all other fast food franchises in targeting children. 40% of their marketing dollars are aimed at kids. In the last three years, they’ve increased ad spending on kids by 26%. They are the largest distributer of toys in the US and operate more playgrounds (8,000) than any other entity. 96% of American kids recognize Ronald McDonald – second only to Santa Claus.
“We need to burst that clown’s balloon,” says Kadija.
For more information on Food For Thought, contact Ivana Kadija at:
434-293-2804 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Amoeba Art & Media (a.k.a. Amoeba Films) is an award-winning production company and film studio in Central Virginia.
Contact :: Brian Wimer, Primary Instigator • 434.249.8759
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