Chipotle Uses Grammys To Draw Attention to Sustainable Farming

We love Chipotle. Here is one more reason why. The restaurant chain (I refuse to call it fast food anymore) ran a lengthy animated ad during the Grammy’s last weekend that spoke about sustainable food farming and more. Worth a watch and a great lesson on how food companies can get it right.


There are several unusual things about this commercial, which we’ve posted above for your viewing pleasure. First, it’s about four times as long as your standard-issue television ad. Second, according toThe New York Times, the spot took an entire year to produce and didn’t involve an advertising agency at any step in the process, making it more like an animated short film. Third, it has exactly nothing in common with any fast-food ad to precede it. Instead of home-invading burger mascotsmassively inaccurate product shotspizza artisans, and the like, the film features puppet-like characters illustrating a parable about a farmer who turns to industrial methods, only to think better of it and return to his earth- and animal-friendly ways of doing business. The whole thing is set to a Willie Nelson cover of Coldplay’s “The Scientist.” There’s nary a burrito in site in the entire two-plus minutes, and Chipotle’s logo shows up only once, at the very end.

What was the goal of the ad?

To make more consumers aware of Chipotle’s commitment to sustainable farming. All in all, it’s an exceptionally good piece of both animated filmmaking and promotion, and yet another example of how far apart Chipotle stands from the rest of the quick-service pack. Writing for Slate, Matthew Yglasias recently compared the company to Apple, arguing that Chipotle’s CEO Steve Ells is revolutionizing fast food in the same way that Steve Jobs transformed personal electronics, only with none of the same acclaim.

Chipotle deserves a huge pat on the back for doing things right and doing it well.

About the Author

Hi there! I am Priti and I specialize in strategy and communications for impact organizations that aim to create social, environmental and economic wealth for all stakeholders. Working from the ground up, I help these do-gooders craft effective programs for community engagement, outreach and profitability. Follow my work covering do-gooders, cleanweb, start-ups and Web 2.0 businesses on Ecopreneurist and at Crowdsourcing Week. I enjoy traveling with my boys, cooking up a gourmet meal from scratch and entertaining! Join my community for Social Entrepreneurs on G+ Follow me on Twitter, on LinkedIn and Google+