Chipotle and the scarecrow

Still from Chipotle Scarecrow adOnce upon a time, there was a lovely scarecrow. He got himself a job to support his lovely scarecrow wife, and went to work for Crow Industries. But soon, he discovered that…….oh, what’s the point in continuing. Unless you’ve been under a rock for past few months, you’ve almost certainly heard of Chipotle and their storytelling adverts, and you know all about what Mr Scarecrow did next.

I first came across Chipotle last year, at the Vision conference in Bristol, when one of the speakers showed their first advert, ‘Back to the Start’. At the time, I thought it was a very nice piece of storytelling, but a bit hard on the farming industry. It’s always dicy, slating the way other people do things to show off how lovely you are, even if those other people are animated cartoon farmers. Real farmers still tend to get upset. (It’s worth following that link, by the way, and having a good read – it’s a great blog.)

When their new film, the Scarecrow, was released, I thought I would write about their particular approach to brand marketing, and some of the issues with it. But you know what, pretty much everyone else wrote about it as well. Some people loved it. Some people liked it, but weren’t sure about how authentic it was. Some people hated it. Some people thought everyone else was making far too much fuss about an animated video. And some people produced a fantastic parody of it that said almost everything I was going to say.

I decided, in the end, that instead of dissecting the issues with brand authenticity and with how far Chipotle assurances about their ingredients (which are littered with phrases such as ‘when practical’ and ‘whenever possible’) can be trusted, I would just ask one thing.

Everyone’s taking about Chipotle, but does it make you want to try some, or ‘curl up in a vegan coma and never eat again’? (Hat tip to the Washington Post for that lovely phrase)