Chipotle Scares Up Success With New Marketing Campaign

Following up with the 2011 success of their “Back to the Start” campaign, Chipotle has released their newest ad – the Scarecrow. This haunting commercial follows the story of the Scarecrow, an industrial farm worker who rebels against the status quo by spurning current farming techniques and selling fresh, locally grown produce to his community.

restaurant marketing -- The Scarecrow loading screen

The commercial, created by the Academy Award Winning Moonbot Studios, has garnered 5.6 million views on YouTube in just one week, with the associated iPhone game breaching the top 100 apps in the App Store. This multimedia campaign has three aspects: the television commercial, the iPhone app, and the burrito giveaway (activated by playing the app).

What Makes the Scarecrow Successful?

There are a number of factors all coming together to make this campaign work. For one, the ad connects with viewers on an emotional level. Fiona Apple’s lulling vocals and the gripping visuals of the cinematography combine with a rebel call for a movement gaining popularity in the world – the local food movement. People can get behind the message and are enchanted by its presentation.

Second, it upholds the values that Chipotle has espoused from the beginning. Had any other restaurant put out this commercial, it would not have been as effective. Chipotle’s passionate belief and thorough upholding of their “Food with Integrity” principles makes this ad feel more like a beautiful short film than a marketing campaign.

Third, it’s brave. Chipotle has told the world – over and over – that this is what they believe in. It’s not always popular and it’s not always easy, but fresh, local, non-GMO food is what the company hopes to uphold.

Chipotle is an innovator, leading the industry in a food movement against industrial agriculture. And while other brands struggle to keep up with the image of fresh, good-for-you food, Chipotle effortlessly beats out their competitors.
restaurant marketing -- McDonald's Facebook
Because it’s not a competition for them. It’s who they are.

All in all, “The Scarecrow” breaks the mold for restaurant marketing. It has raised the bar not just for Chipotle’s advertising but for the restaurant industry at large.

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