Next the scarecrow peeks his head into a milking facility where all the cows are locked up in metal boxes while being continuously milked.
It’s a very desolate world until the Scarecrow goes home and picks a chipotle pepper. He then decides to pick his own food and make “fresh, all-natural” food for people from his food stand that has a sign hanging above it that reads “Cultivate a Better World”.
Everyone in the film looks so sad and disheartened which is suppose to tug at your heartstrings I guess. But being a farmer it just makes me mad. I have to give them credit that the video was very creatively done, but what it’s implying is sooooo inaccurate!
Comments from Chipotle
Diana Prichard from the Righteous Bacon blog has been in contact with Chris Arnold, Chipotle’s Corporate Spokesperson. She posted a link to their emails and responses at the end of her blog post if you’d like to read them in their entirety. Here are a few things that stick out to me:
In his first email, Chris says, “We made this film (and the game of the same name) to teach people about issues in industrial agriculture and food processing, and to spark conversation about those issues.” He then goes on to say, “It’s an animated film set in a fictitious future world, not a documentary. I think people are smart enough to understand that.”
So I feel like Chris totally contradicted himself. First he says that they are trying to teach people about issues with this film and then when asked about the inaccuracies, he says, well, it’s animated and set in a fictitious world. So that makes it OK to not be accurate???
That last sentence is what really gets me. It’s not that I don’t think that people are “smart” enough to understand what’s correct and what’s incorrect, but with the internet and social media, there is soooooo much inaccurate information out there that people either a.) don’t know what to believe or b.) believe everything they read is correct. So, by producing this short film and putting it out on the internet, if someone who has no connections to farming at all sees this, I don’t know why they wouldn’t believe that it’s true, even if it is an animated video. I mean, Chipotle is a well known fast food chain, why would they be spewing information that is untrue about agriculture?
Another comment from Chris was, “We very much expected this kind of reaction from the [agriculture] industry. That’s not the audience. The audience for this is people who don’t pay much attention to these issues and who can be reached by packaging issues content in a way that makes it more accessible. Entertainment is more accessible. For people who share our believes in the area, we are preaching to the converted, and the LOVE it. For people who don’t agree, they’re not going to be swayed by something like this, and they tend to be critical. For all of those people in the middle, maybe this will resonate in some way and get through to them. Maybe it will make them want to learn more. That’s the point of it.”
First, WHY was Chipotle expecting this kind of backlash from farmers? Was it because they know that their film gives off an inaccurate portrayal of modern agriculture? Or was it because they were using fear to get to consumers attention and they knew that farmers and those in the ag industry would call them out on their inaccuracies?
Chipotle’s target group with this new ad campaign is the Millennia Generation, otherwise known as Generation Y. This group of consumers was born in the 80’s and 90’s. They’ve grown up in the social media world. They have numerous values, but to eat better and eat locally are at the forefront. Chipotle targeted them because they could help make the video go viral.
The Millennia Generation is a good one to target with a new ad campaign, but I’m very disappointed with Chipotle by doing it this way. I’d love to see a fast food restaurant team with with farmers and do some kind of short film like this but with real, honest, truthful information in it. That way consumers don’t have to wonder if it’s accurate or not.
Other articles and blogs about Chipotle’s new marketing campaign:
USA Today: Chipotle Targets Big Food, Skips Big Branding
Cattleman Ryan Goodman at Agriculture Proud Blog: Chipotle Takes on Big Food With Animated Scarecrow
Hog Farmer Diana Prichard at Righteous Bacon: Chipotle’s Scarecrow Part One: Lessons in Corporate Greed and Chipotle’s Scarecrow Part Two: A World of Pure Imagination, Indeed.
Dairy Farmer Ryan Bright at The Udder Side Blog: A Letter from the Cows to Chipotle
David Hayden at Farming America Blog: Hey Chipotle
Will Gillmer at The Dairyman’s Blog: I’ll Have a Burrito with Extra Salsa, Hold the Bull****
What are your thoughts about the video?