Bite Back 2030, a movement to cut youth obesity backed by chef Jamie Oliver, launches in the U.K. this week with a thought-provoking "social experiment" style film showing how marketing by Big Food influences young people's choices.
In the film, created by Don't Panic and directed by Chris Faith of Faithful Hound, a group of eight teenagers are invited to a restaurant and given a menu of 50 items to choose from, as well as an envelope they're not allowed to open. However, once they've ordered their food, they open up the envelope which reveals that the organizers have already predicted what they would choose—for example a "triple-dipped" chicken dish.
The film then shows that the teens have actually been targeted, via a series of outdoor and radio ads, social media, posts from influencers and more, throughout the previous week without their knowledge—and their choices were influenced by what they saw.
Bite Back's mission is to halve youth obesity by 2030, starting by revealing some of the marketing methods by the food industry.
Rick Dodds, creative partner, Don’t Panic, says of the filming: “The reactions from the teens in the experiment were a rollercoaster. At first they were amazed, even delighted that we had managed to predict what they would choose out of the 50 items on the menu. Then amazement turned into shock and even anger at how they had been manipulated. Watching it all unfold on the monitors, our emotions followed a similar arch; at first we were excited it had worked, then promptly horrified that it did.”