Do you remember awhile back we discussed Chipotle's Responsible Farming Campaign? There was a commercial involving empathetic scarecrows and demonic robots abusing farm animals?
The Scarecrow video was unconventional, especially for what's considered a fast food chain. It called out the current culture of industrial farming in America, the idea that our food is engineered by large companies who do not have our best interests at heart. Now, six months later, Chipotle has another bit of pioneering advertising up its sleeve: "Farmed and Dangerous".
The online series, exclusive to the streaming service Hulu, "hopes to promote the company's concerns about sustainable agriculture and the humane treatment of animals used for meat." Unlike other television and movie product placements, Chipotle never shows up in the series - no logo, no characters eating Chipotle burritos. Instead, the series acts as vehicle for "values integration" - do the best you can to know and understand what you're eating.
There will always be eye-rolling associated with this type of marketing. Is Chipotle simply doing what's good for themselves, or do they truly care about what's good for the rest of us? Are they truly living up to their slogan, "Food With Integrity"? Whatever the case may be, Chipotle has created an image of sustainable agriculture in recent years. Since the dissolution of their stakeholder association with McDonald's in 2006, the company has done everything it can to distance itself from their competitor.
"Farmed and Dangerous" is another step forward in a constantly evolving brand strategy. The series, consisting of four, 30 minute episodes, is a major part of a million dollar marketing campaign that hopes to promote better regulation and consumer knowledge through satire and comedy. Piro Vision, the company behind the lens, wants to attract consumers to the brand - and its message - through memorable entertainment. "A lot of advertising characters are one-dimensional," Tim Piper of Piro says. "What we are trying to do is create characters."
What do you think, reader? Have you watched "Farmed and Dangerous" yet or do you plan to?