The new documentary, “Supersize Me 2: Holy Chicken!” claims to expose the marketing tactics within the one of the largest food industries in the world – poultry. 13 years since the hugely successful Supersize Me was released, which earned Director Morgan Spurlock an Oscar nomination, the team have shone the light on the chicken industry. By opening an ‘ethical’ fast food chicken truck at the Toronto International Film Festival they claim that they’ve exposed the big marketing campaigns and misleading labelling that the poultry industry, Government, and many restaurants and shops are all implicit in.
By opening his own pop up restaurant at the premiere, Spurlock hoped not to demonstrate that better restaurant practices are possible but instead to deceive consumers in the same way as many other businesses who profit from chicken. In a questionable move he used the same marketing techniques employed by the industry at his self serving pop up to highlight the fact that millions of us are ‘manipulated and ‘mislead’ about the realities of chicken.
Whether you agree with his decision to open the restaurant at the festival, it has raised a lot of interest and what is for sure is that Supersize Me 2 will have mass appeal. You Tube Red has already seen the huge potential, offering $3.5 million for the film. Spurlock hopes this same mass appeal will be the catalyst to show people how they are still being misled by big corporations:
“I think the genesis of what’s happened in the food business since the first Super Size Me is there’s been this wave of what I’d call ‘healthier foods.’ There’s been a massive green washing of the industry, where suddenly salads popped up, all these other things that are good for you, better, all natural, fresh—all of these things that make us all believe that these companies have our best interest in mind, that they’re doing things that are better for us.”
He continued: “I think that what the film does a great job of showing is how misleading a lot of this is, how we are continuing to be sold things that take advantage of us, that we are being manipulated as consumers.”
By focusing on the most widely eaten farmed animal on the planet, we consume over 20 billion chickens annually, the documentary addresses the false advertising used by big corporations which poses a hidden health threat to consumers. Sadly what’s not fully addressed is the ethical and environmental implications.
Producer Matthew Galkin explains in an interview with Deadline: “We all feel like the collective marketing of all of these restaurants has reached a fever pitch of the catchphrases in the marketplace of, ‘All natural, organic, free-range,’” the producer explains. “Part of this movie definitely blows the lid off of the entire labeling process. We deal with a lot of topics, but that’s sort of the centerpiece of the film.”
“We want to believe, as consumers and as citizens, that our government’s there to protect us—that, at the end of the day, somebody’s going to be there to have our best interest in mind. What the film really shows you is that is not the case,” Spurlock summarizes in the interview.
Whilst the ethics of opening a chicken restaurant should be questioned what is hopeful is that a big name like this may be able to drive some change within consumers who still purchase unhealthy chicken.
Video Credit: Deadline