24 Sep Chipotle Short Film Reaches Millions

Two weeks ago Chipotle Mexican Grill utilized viral marketing to create an instant hit in social media. The short three-minute animated film, “The Scarecrow,” has over six million views according to their YouTube account. Accompanied alongside the short film, Chipotle also gives their audience the option to download a gaming application for their iPhone or iPad featuring “The Scarecrow” and his journey to overcome the obstacles he faces in the short film. Both the short film and the gaming application option are to say the least, incredibly impressive and innovative. Not only are consumer’s able to see the company’s message but now they also have the opportunity to immerse themselves in and interact with it as well. If you haven’t seen the video yet, let me do the honors by directing you here.

From Fiona Apple’s haunting version of “Pure Imagination” to the intricate details in the animation, one won’t soon forget this short film, but most of all because of the story it tells — the story of “The Scarecrow.” Chipotle sends a message to consumers projecting themselves in a more positive light compared to other fast food corporations. Chipotle’s goal is to appear more desirable compared to competitors when it comes to both the origins of their product, as well as the values of their company. They position their competitor as the evil “Crow Foods Incorporated” food conglomerate in contrast to “The Scarecrow” who represents Chipotle’s values and integrity.

The short film and it’s honest message connects the “aspirational self” of the Chipotle consumer to their brand. The consumer wants to believe that they themselves have the same values that Chipotle has. The empathetic connection the consumer makes with Chipotle evokes emotion and therefore develops a strong attachment and bond with the brand.

The Chipotle consumer responses are overwhelming. One fan left a comment on the short film demanding a feature length film featuring “The Scarecrow.” Others are sending out the video to their friends and family, posting it to their Facebook walls, downloading the Fiona Apple cover, and gaming application. Millions are talking about this company’s short animated film and singing its praises. The question isn’t, what did Chipotle do right, it’s what didn’t they do right?

In anticipation of “The Scarecrow” consumer response, Chipotle has also posted another video, “The Scarecrow – Behind the Scenes,” for those who are interested in how the original video came to flourish. The behind the scenes introduce Chipotle’s CMO Mark Crumpacker as he states their company’s mission to change the way the world looks at fast food. Then audiences are introduced to William Espey, Chipotle’s Brand Voice Lead, along with others who were involved with the production of the short film, including the talented artist behind the animation at Moonbot Studios. Moonbot Studio adds to Chipotle’s credibility by stating that they would not choose to work with the company if they did not believe the message Chipotle is sending is true.

After observing the response to the short film the past two weeks, it’s clear consumers have been taken in and excited about Chipotle’s message and brand. Consumers have been so vocal about wanting to see more of “The Scarecrow,” despite having a well-made short animated film and an interactive gaming application, there is no denying how well it is doing. Within a week, Chipotle has new fans and customers, while prior customers are even more interested and loyal in their brand than ever before. So what is it that Chipotle is doing that others are not?

Chipotle is simply letting their work reflect how they see themselves and the respectable moral values they maintain. They have created a meaning behind their brand that consumers can connect with.

Written by Aleece Reynaga, Marketing Assistant

Photo courtesy of nerdist.com

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