Transforming sex education through Emmy award-winning creative storytelling

Transforming sex education through Emmy award-winning creative storytelling

The Big Mouth Guide to Life approaches complicated issues such as consent, mental health and toxic masculinity.

Who

Big Mouth is a multi-award nominated animated comedy about kids going through puberty, created by Nick Kroll (Kroll Show) and Andrew Goldberg (Family Guy). The Netflix Original has received praise globally for its honest portrayal of important life topics, outrageous humor and refreshing sex positivity.

What

Based on the success of launching Big Mouth across all major social channels and receiving Shorty/Webby nominations in process, Social Life (now Jellyfish) and Netflix joined forces again for Season 3 to devise a creative marketing campaign designed to balance the high-brow writing around morals and life lessons with the show’s trademark surreal humor.
The anchor to the Season 3 social media offering was the BIG MOUTH GUIDE TO LIFE: an eight-chapter, Instagram Story sex ed “book” covering crucial topics such as periods, body image and sexuality; released across the three-month campaign phase.

Did you know

In the US only 24 of the 50 states require any form of sexual health education (Ascend, 2019) and less than 40% of high schools teach all sexual health topics. Compounded with the controversial favoring of abstinence-only education, alongside virtually no LGBTQ+ representation, it’s easy to see why young people are more likely to learn sex ed from the internet than they are in the classroom.

The solution

The Big Mouth Guide to Life approaches complicated issues such as consent, mental health and toxic masculinity via the accessible voices of characters and key storylines, breaking down these heavy topics into manageable and relatable chunks, helping debunk common myths and prompting conversation around taboo subjects.

So, what's in the guide?

Ninety pages. Eight chapters. One handy link.

The eight chapters represent the core themes of the series up until Season 3 and the release of those chapters coincided with other elements of the campaign. 
Striking the right balance between information and entertainment was imperative. We wanted to consolidate the key topics approached across all three seasons in a way that would educate fans without appearing preachy, and it was vital that the audience had fun while learning these life lessons – just as they do when watching the show.
We wanted the Big Mouth Season 3 social campaign to feel as all-consuming as puberty.

How does it work?

Fans tap through the pages guided by a neutral narrator, direct character quotes and freshly-scripted character dialogue – the combination of these creating an authentic, familiar and trustworthy voice.
We included bespoke animated elements and interactive polls/quizzes for an immersive experience, along with carefully selected audio elements from the show’s soundtrack. Each chapter features a fitting library track and sound effects, followed by a lyrically poignant song from Big Mouth’s official soundtrack during each “In a Nutshell” conclusion.
We populated the Instagram grid with posts to promote each chapter, allowing fans space to discuss the issues raised with each other in the comments. 
The complete guide now lives on Highlights as a permanent point of reference and comfort for fans and their families and friends.

The Big Mouth Guide to Life - Netflix

The Big Mouth Guide to Life - Netflix

Fan feedback

The response was overwhelming. A bit like puberty.

Results

Honoree in Social: Television & Film – The Webby Awards 2020
Outstanding Derivative Interactive Program – Television Academy Creative Arts Emmy Awards 2020 
The Big Mouth Guide to Life itself has reached millions of fans globally, with impressive completion rates of 75-85%. 
However, we believe its success is more appropriately determined by the quality of the fan response. 

It’s the human reactions that validated the fact that the content we were serving the fans – and beyond – was what they needed, wanted and would come back for more of.

Why this is important

Young people now more than ever need access to diverse, honest and inclusive sex education they can access without limitations. The Big Mouth Guide to Life will always be there as an entertaining, heart-warming reference point not just for fans, but for anyone who needs it. 
The Big Mouth Guide to Life has helped cement the reputation of this Netflix Original as the go-to show for young people who want access to the sex education they deserve.

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