The first time I watched The Scarecrow, I was surprised to find that it’s actually an ad that’s part of a larger campaign for Chipotle. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it now. The moment when the scarecrow looks behind closed doors and we see a cow, who’s crammed between many others and helplessly hooked to automated milking tubes, I thought to myself, “This isn’t right. How can food that’s being processed in this way possibly be good for us to eat or good for our enviroment?”
The infomercial was clearly whispering back to me “It can’t.” And what a message to hear from an advertisement.
I don’t think many people will argue against eating tasty, fresh food that’s grown or raised by local farmers. On the same note, much of the food we consume is mass produced and mimics what we see in this video.
So the real question is, what business does Chipotle have posting this video, making the app, and pushing sustainable food forward?
In today’s world there’s a population of 20 somethings , including myself, who have grown up in a world flooded with false advertisements. I think there’s a drive to right wrongs in our world and return to health and fairness. Regardless of age, anyone who watches this ad can find something that resonates with them. For instance, the Willy Wonka song is a classic done with a modern provoking touch. (Note the minor key and frown on the scarecrows face as she sings, “If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it.” Coughsatirecough. It’s a clear sign that somethings not quite right. )
Remember all that stuff you learned in high school about subtext, analogies, euphamisms? Nope, me neither. But this video is chalk full of it. What makes this ad so interesting to me is that there’s not an overlying film of persuasion plastered on top. It’s borderline authentic, and when was the last time you associated authentic with advertisement?
Chipolte’s misson to serve “food with integrity” comes through clear as day in the ad. By the way, it’s meant to promote their mobile app for iOS yet it does a fantastic job painting a picture of the company’s values.
I see this move as a growing trend. People are tired of the traditional ad, and they’re overwhelmed by the shear amount of them. It’s like fashion trends- when the trendy jeans can’t ride any lower on your waist, next year’s fashions will go in a complete opposite direction with high waisted pants. It’s the freshness that makes this informercial more exciting.
From a public relations perspective, it’s neat to see how Chipolte has tapped into their audience without pushing their product or name heavily. A move like this frames the company positively and now they just need to continue reaffirming who they are and where they stand.
I’m not sure if I’ll play the Scarecrow App, I’m not a big game player. However I do look forward to seeing what else Chipolte has in store. And eating a burrito soon.