September 15, 2011 1:51:00 PM
David Miller -
When you see a 12,000-pound, Guinness World Record chocolate bar paraded around the country in the coming weeks, you''d never guess it has a tie to Starkville.
World''s Finest Chocolate, the largest school fundraising firm in the country, broke the Guinness World Record Tuesday in Chicago with a chocolate bar that measured 3 feet high, 21 feet long and weighed more than 12,000 pounds.
Want to know how it was made?
Just ask Broadcast Media Group owner Robbie Coblentz.
Coblentz shot and edited the making of the giant chocolate bar, a video World''s Finest Chocolate will use to promote its healthy eating campaign, "Think big, eat smart."
World''s Finest Chocolate, by Guinness rules, had to create the 12,000-pound bar the same way it would its famous, 8-ounce fundraising bar. That meant building a 2,500-pound mold and an 800-pound vat to pour the chocolate. Additionally, a 3,000-pound prototype was made. World''s Finest Chocolate is also one of six plants in the country that makes its own chocolate. For Coblentz, spending five days in a chocolate factory was like being in his own episode of the Food Network show "Unwrapped."
"We''d robe up in the white coats and hair nets to walk through different parts of the plant," Coblentz said. "It''s an amazing process. Most of our work is out of market, but to do something that is nationally known like World''s Finest -- something I was familiar with selling as a kid -- was a lot of fun."
Before filming the making of the bar, Coblentz and his four-person production team packed cameras, lighting and sound equipment and traveled in July to Nashville to record the bulk of "Think big, eat smart."
Working with a script and creative approach from Nashville advertising agency Bill Hudson and Associates, Broadcast Media Group spent three days shooting. When they returned to Starkville, primary editor Laura Crum selected animation and music and spent close to 85 hours editing the 15-minute video.
Between the factory footage and the health-conscious public service announcement, Broadcast Media Group''s work will air nationwide on news channels and will be viewed at more than 60 tour locations across the country. A shorter edited package has already aired on Good Morning America.
"When I brought up this project in a staff meeting, Laura Crum immediately said ''That''s my project,''" Coblentz said. "This was something we were all excited to be a part of because everyone, at one point in their life, has either sold the chocolate or bought it. And who doesn''t want to be part of a Guinness World Record project?"
World''s Finest Chocolate has helped raise more than $3 billion for not-for-profit organizations.
Starkville School District sells World''s Finest Chocolate and is coming off a successful 2010-11 campaign in which Ward Stewart Elementary raised $18,000 to help fund the purchase and installation of playground equipment.
While in Chicago, Coblentz even managed to make a sale for his son, David, a fourth-grader at Henderson Ward Stewart Elementary School.
"While I was up there, I had (my wife) Bonnie fax me David''s form," Coblentz said. "Sure enough I was able to sell $18 worth of chocolate to the CEO Eddie Opler. That was pretty cool."
World''s Finest Chocolate wanted to address the growing child obesity rate in a creative way, taking advantage of its influence in schools and communities. "Thing big, eat smart" educates kids to eat foods like chocolate in moderation, which in turn will keep them healthy and able to accomplish more.
The video Broadcast Media Group produced features tips for eating healthy and a song and dance to encourage kids during the school tour.
Using a giant chocolate bar might seem counterproductive to encouraging portion control, but Opler said it captures kids'' attention.
"We purposely made this bar to be an example of portion distortion," said Eddie Opler. "We''re committed to educating families about eating right and staying active and doing it in a fun and engaging way."