Feeding America's 'Empty Plates' Ad Copies the Format of Viral Recipe Videos

By: Joey Haar - Sep 7, 2016
References: feedingamerica.org & mashable
Feeding America's 'Empty Plates' PSA poignantly mocks one of the biggest food movements on the web right now: the viral recipe video. Those videos, popularized by websites like Buzzfeed, are short walkthroughs on how to cook various decadent meals, and they've been all over people's Facebook feeds. By co-opting the format of these viral recipe videos, the Empty Plates PSA shows hunger through a lens that many young Internet users will quickly relate to.

Empty Plates does an excellent job of mimicking the stylistic traits of viral recipe videos. It does not use a narrator, instead opting for simple piece of text written in white Helvetica. The shots are primarily from overhead, with the occasional side shot to emphasize chopping or other complex motions. These are both stock in trade for viral recipe videos.