To Top

Chipotle’s Emotional Advertising Continues with ‘The Scarecrow’


I definitely more likely to seek a Chipotle more than any other fast food chain in NYC and they continue to fascinate with their advertising strategy. Their last animated short film called ‘Back to the Start‘ featured Willie Nelson singing Coldplay’s “The Scientist” and was an unexpected and haunting statement on our industrial food creation process.

Chipotle has just released the next in what now appears to be a series of these video called ‘The Scarecrow’. This animated short has Pixar quality 3D animation of a scarecrow who is a factory worked at a large food plant.  The story is set to a haunting version of features “Pure Imagination,” originally from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” sung by Fiona Apple. The production quality of this video is exceptional but the messaging and imagery is definitely much more heavy-handed than their previous installment. You can watch the video above to see for yourself what I am talking about.

Last week was insanely hectic for me so I saw a few headlines that they had released a new video but didn’t actually have time to read about what they had created so I came into this experience with no preconceived notions of what I was about to experience. Because of that I was really surprised when the video ended with an ad for a new mobile game, titled The Scarecrow, for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The game is a pseudo continuation of the story as you control the Scarecrow main character through a series of levels where you tilt the iPad to control him. The game is moderately fun and here again you will see a high production value.

As much as I love their videos I am really conflicted about the addition of the iOS game to this latest installment. The marketer in me understands that they want to find a way to extend the experience and the brand impression beyond just the video no matter how powerful it is. But the creative, the foodie and the consumer in me just didn’t like the way they  executed that intent. In the video they are talking about the commercialization of an industry and how price, convenience and packaging will make people mindlessly consume that product. But when they ended the video with an ad for a game that uses price (free), connivence (free entertainment) and packaging (great game design) it made experience go from anthemic and inspiring to feeling cheap, manipulated and even hypocritical. In the end I wish I didn’t feel this way I about so much good work since when viewed independently they are exceptional but I just can’t overcome the bad after taste you get from  combining them.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

More in Branding

Creative Director, Designer, Brand Builder, Speaker, Podcaster, Crazy One. As a designer, I have 20+ years experience creating the strategy, concepts, and designs for award-winning integrated global advertising campaigns, building multiple global Fortune 500 brands and creating innovative digital experiences. As a leader, I have 15+ years transforming agency and client-side teams using a mix of creativity, business strategy, process and political skill to create innovative, world-class work and cultures that change industries and companies. My clients have included American Airlines, W Hotels, Disney, Citi, ExxonMobil, Acura, Old Navy, Nationwide Insurance, Verizon, Subaru and many others. My work has received over 150 international awards, my app designs have been named as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Apps, Apple has featured my work in 9 keynotes, 4 TV commercials and more.

Follow Me On Instagram

 I think the @supremenewyork X @mtanyctransit mash up is pretty genius. Finally got my hands on one today but after seeing the prices on eBay I may flip it before long. #supreme #supremenewyork #mta  A pile of pugs and a @steelers blanket - what else do you need on a day off? #pug #pugs #pugsofinstagram #steelers #yinz #burghproud #herewegosteelers  FYI - it's pronounced 'art' not 'toy'. These @huckgee pieces are hand made and can take up to a year to produce. #huckgee #robotech #mech #robot #urbanvinyl  Happy Valentines Day to @thechiclibrary - love of my life fierce and true. #chic #nyfw #fashion #love  Because of Snowmaggeddon in NYC I'm having to do my meetings from home today and apparently everyone thinks they are a Creative Director in this house. #pug #pugsofinstagram #design #creativedirector #puglife #designer #dogismycopilot
 Thanks to @the_villainess for an amazing work in progress shot of the soon to be crown jewel of our collection - a huge (8' wide) commission from @tristaneaton based on the lives of @thechiclibrary and I. Can't thank him enough knowing how busy he is and I'm SO F*CKING EXCITED!!! #streetart #streetartist #streetartnyc #streetartofficial #tristaneaton #tristaneatonart #tristaneatonmural  @visionaireworld X @louisvuitton from back in the day when Kidrobot actually made art toys #louisvuitton #lv #kidrobot #visionaire #visionaireworld #monogram #louisvuittonmonogram #murakami #takashimurakami  Got a vintage @huckgee Skullleader as a new addition to the collection #urbanvinyl #huckgee #mech #robotech #robot  @thechiclibrary in full effect at New York Fashion week for the photographers tonight in @ika_editions @blackscale and @tomford #nyfw #newyorkfashionweek  Forgot to mention I got to see @huckgee new Skullhead mech work in progress which I think is one of the best pieces he has ever done. I already put in dibs on at least one. #huckgee #huckgeeskullhead #urbanvinyl
 Extremely honored to have been chosen by @ghoshal and @erondu to join 25 design leaders from AirBnB, Uber, Facebook, Slack, Google Ventures, IDEO and more for High Resolution, a 25 episode video series on design. Look for my episode focusing on creativity and leadership coming soon. @highrespodcast #creativity #leadership #design #podcast  Spent the morning with @the_chris_buck new book Uneasy which is a fantastic look at the work of one of the most creative people I know. Get your copy at #chrisbuck #photography #photographer #portraitphotography #portrait #portraits  Some days I feel like I should wear this @huckgee armor to work. #huckgee #urbanvinyl #mech #armor #toy #kidrobot #dunny  If you listen to The #CrazyOne podcast you have @lukewessman to thank for it. He gave me the push to finally launch it and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. He is a constant inspiration, someone who makes me want to be a better man and I always feel lucky to count him as one of my friends. Thanks for the support brother. #crazyones #lukewessman #tattooartist #lag #crazyone  @nychos under scaffolding in Haight Ashbury #streetart #streetartist #nychos #streetartofficial #streetartsf

Copyright © 2015 Stephen Gates