Meatrix Moviemakers Mouth Off in a Revolution for “Real Food!”

mouthrev.gif“The Mouths of the world are finally speaking out,” says the new Mouth Revolution viral film that launched from Free Range Studios yesterday. “They’re fed up with the “garbage” we eat and they’re demanding real food – organic food – now!”

“As gateways to the human body, they’re taking action and staging an international “Shut Up” until their demands are met,” bellows the funky commando-style chin.

Yep. You heard right. An upside-down talking chin in a Che Guevara beret asking “mouths of the world to unite in revolution” and take a stand against trans fats, artificial ingredients, GMOs and pesticides! These guys DO crack me up.

Free Range Studios has directed some of the most-watched internet films of all time, and this latest parody, Mouth Revolution shouts, “Power to the Pie Hole” and “If it isn’t real, spit out your meal.” (If the younger kids I’m counter-marketing to right now get word of this, it could get…er…messy.)

Every parent who’s ever wiped a splat mat or a highchair can relate to mouths clamping shut as they’re being fed food; but a few of those ‘chinny chin chins’ were a bit gross.

I’m still a fan of their cult classic, Store Wars, but this 4.5 minute homage to “Web 2.0” has media-fresh zip that kids will love to goof with. Where else could you ask viewers to “Upload Your Mouth” and join the community?

…AND ALSO enjoy ‘out-takes’ of foot-in-mouth style via YouTube blooper moments, make your voice heard through advocacy action and forward to a friend to (dare I say it?) increase word of mouth?

Their “Mouthifesto” demanding pure food in their “Declaration of Indigestion” is a light-hearted, worthy way to make some complicated data very ‘digestible.’

They’ve integrated helpful facts on why trans fats, pesticides, artificial ingredients and ‘genetically modified organisms’ (GMOs) should NOT be spooned into our mouths daily…even though they hog most of the space in grocery store shelves and media buys.

Some clever factoids disguised as sound bites from these mouthpieces ‘on strike?’

  • “No artificial colors or flavors! Six artificial colors have already been linked to cancer and our bodies have taken in our weight in artificial additives each year.”

  • “We, the Mouths will not open to Trans Fats, like partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, which extend shelf life but decrease YOUR life and contribute to 30,000 deaths a year.

  • “No genetic modification without representation! We are Mouths, not guinea pigs,” shouts the mock revolutionary.

They give links, reasoning and explanations about the organic movement, certifications and chemical pesticides in fist-pumping radical faux fervor. Or maybe it’s not so faux, eh?

Creatively, I’ll admit I was hoping to do a full ‘believability morph’ via the body sculpture, but never quite detached from ‘reality’ into a fully submersive ‘character’ world, (like say the Fandango Puppet people) because the teeth/mouth dominance kept distracting me.

I kept wishing the ‘eyes’ were bigger, much darker, or more pronounced so I could anthropomorphize in reverse and turn them into critters.

This may not be an issue for kids whatsoever, who are more used to the talking hands with marker lipstick or sock monkey fellas. They’ll love the Revolutionary Gallery complete with instructions of how to photograph your own mouth to upload to the mix.

We haven’t gotten to our ‘organic labeling’ nutrition and media session yet, but I’ll definitely be sending kids to the Mouth Revolution when we do. (along with CSPI’s SmartMouth to ingest food factoids in a fun way)

Entertainment mixed with health science makes content SO much easier for children to swallow. Marketing-wise, this ‘revolution’ quite literally represents a ‘mouthpiece’ for social change:

For youth, Free Range Studios manages to answer kids’ almighty ‘whys’ in a quick clip video movie.

For parents, the fact finders are a snappy grab-n-go cheat sheet to navigate the grocery aisle and begin to frame much bigger food and health policy questions.

“The Mouths” themselves whimsically answer our own cultural narcissism of “Why should I care?” with very personal reasoning. (it’s your body, stupid)

They’re smart to ensure every topic comes through loud and clear, by defining what it is, why you should care and explaining safety, regulatory, and consumer concerns (allergens, biodiversity, environmental health, etc.) in a ‘news you can use’ bite-sized nibble sans overwhelm.

This is perfect for children and parents to understand the ‘food science’ side of complicated concepts, like our Capri Sun deconstruction and ‘ewwwww’ simulation. After all, High Fructose Corn Syrup is dicey to try to explain at a molecular level.

Even though we sent home a fully translated Spanish media literacy sheet on the tricks of the trade and put out a plea to ‘watch for weasel words’ on labels (big difference between claims like 100% fruit juice and 100% vitamins with real fruit juice!) “The Mouths” could’ve been my “mouthpiece” to digitally explain:

“Genetically modified organisms are lab experiments, not food. GMOs are organisms whose genetic code has been artificially altered using techniques known as recombinant DNA technology. Basically, this means that DNA molecules from different sources are combined in a test tube, resulting in a completely new molecule.”

An international global coup of costumed chins is probably much more fun than a blonde with a blender in a ‘Dare to Compare’ nutrition game…but hey, we do what we can.

“The Mouths” movie opens with a ‘state of the union’ backdrop and ‘revolutionary’ seal, (“we’re always there, right under your nose”) as the curtain rises to ‘breaking news’ of ‘mid-meal collisions’ of mouths refusing to open, uprisings like A Million Mouth March, billboard signage unfurling, kids turned upside down to demand real food instead of a rainbow dish of chemicals for breakfast, and such.

It’s wry and packed with sardonic wit and silliness, but I tell ya, those fact sheets are a useful resource…And the convenience of having a ‘take action’ button right along side it for people fed up with being given lip-service about ‘healthy food’ is brilliantly smart follow through.

Inspiring action while folks are riled in spirited cartoon ‘revolt’ prompts them to ‘put their mouse where their mouth is’ NOW!

Smart.

In fact, I think they could’ve even tapped into their organic sponsor, Annie’s Homegrown a bit more without it looking like they were shilling. (the obvious invitation for trial via a coupon to shift toward better food behaviors makes sense to me in a ‘put your money where your mouth is’ call to action and tracking opportunity, but that’s my marketing acumen seeping through)

I’d sure rather see healthy food marketing than the “Rev up your day” message I saw on Kelloggs “Fuel for School” site where they’re trying to brand moms’ notes in the lunchbox with their cartoon Keebler elves, Toucan for Fruit Loops, and Tony the Tiger figures!

These printable cartoons are positioned as warm-n-fuzzy moments shared from home to school, encouraging moms to jot off a quick note to junior, reinforcing the ‘brandwashing’ of Kelloggs junk food icons into kids’ brains from the most credible spokesperson of all…a parent.

As my daughter would say, “That’s just wrong.”

To be fair, they did some nice media work on their aligned Morning Star Farms brand, prompting us all to “See Veggies Differently”…but alas, that coupon was buried WAY back in the ‘offers’ section strategically distanced for holistic/perception reasons, far, far away.

While they DID incentivize a healthier food choice via coupon, the MAIN home page still shows the lunchbox stuffed with “Cheez-it Gripz.”

Which reminds me…what IS it about tagging youth gimmicks with a “Z” on the end?

Is it a lame attempt at hipness or a subversive effort to make kids illiterate spelling-challenged fops? Either way, it’s over-saturated. (note to industry: cut it out)

Anyway, I’ll stop mouthing off, but suffice it to say, I’m all for ‘incentivizing’ healthier products any way we can ‘get kids there’ to reduce consumption of over-processed mystery meals.

As “The Mouth Revolution” sponsor release says, “At Annie’s, we’re committed to offering delicious snacks and macaroni & cheese meals that don’t contain “weird stuff” like artificial ingredients, Trans fats or GMOs.”

With ‘big food’ brands launching organic lines, vegetarian divisions and ‘healthier choices’ it remains to be seen which ones are ‘brandwashing’, ‘greenwashing,’ riding the organic food bandwagon, hedging their bets by housing a leading brand of healthier choices, or in for the long haul…

But as long as it doesn’t contain all that “weird stuff,” I’m in.

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