Chipotle Ad tells the cautionary tale of ‘The Scarecrow’

By on Sunday, September 15, 2013

As far as multinational American fast food chains go, Chipotle’s latest ad campaign remains true to form and doing what all really good creative ads do – fashioning a brilliantly memorable mini-film worthy of the silver screen.

Bringing together the multifaceted talents of long-time collaborators CAA Marketing and the Oscar-winning animators at Moonbot Studios, they once more look certain to recreate the success of their last outing by formulaically combining a popular song cover with strikingly captivating animation and unsubtle eco-friendly implications.

With the addition of an interactive iPhone/iPad game ‘The Scarecrow’ offers a dystopian view of future farming in which the sack-faced protagonist, joining the ranks of his unemployed straw-based brethren, coerced by an evil mechanical crow-bot, through a typical day at work in the world of battery farming.


Bleak and wilfully depressing, we are taken on a journey of discovery through the future world as chickens and cows are chemically altered and stacked high like the expendable comestibles they have become. After much scowling at the urban horror of the city, he makes a break for the county, picks a perfect Chipotle chilli (and a few other essential ingredients growing nearby) to create a wholesome, homemade burrito from his newly opened restaurant.

With the Fiona Apple cover of the Willy Wonka classic ‘Pure Imagination’ hauntingly pushing the story on every slick step of the way, the ad provides a perfect three-minute story arc that ends with a call to action in downloading the game – also developed by Moonbot.


Unsubtle, fully branded, wildly obvious in its commercial intentions and quite similar to their ‘Back to the Start‘ ad of two years ago, you can’t help but marvel at the animation as you are sucked into the Scarecrow’s world. The key to this wonderful little advertisement, which is after all what it is, proves again the notion that utter simplicity of message combined with first-rate execution is more than enough to sell whatever brand of consumer product you may be peddling at the time.

More than that, a couple of views of ‘The Scarecrow’ down the line, the general public will be the proverbial putty in your little straw hands…


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