Chipotle Case study Chipotle: Back to the Start by Creative Artists Agency

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Chipotle: Back to the Start

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Industry Grocery and Other foods, Fast food
Media Case study
Market United States
Agency Creative Artists Agency
Released April 2012


Epica Awards 2012
Branded Content Branded Entertainment Silver

Credits & Description

Category: Broadcast Design and Graphics Incl. Animation
Advertiser: CHIPOTLE
Media placement: Digital - Online - August 25, 2011
Media placement: Cinema - In Theaters Across The USA - October, 2011
Media placement: Television - Broadcast During The 54th Annual Grammy Awards - February 12, 2012

Describe the brief from the client
Chipotle is known for its burritos, but few know that Chipotle has radically changed fast food: from cooking food fresh daily, to building a supply chain of 7,000+ farmers, to sourcing more local produce and sustainably raised meat than anyone, anywhere.

Chipotle asked us to find a way to tell this story and to inspire a broad audience to care about their food. Believing that the more people know about Chipotle, the more likely they will become passionate and loyal customer. So we brought the food and farmers to the people and launched a modern-day harvest festival. The Cultivate Festival - a free, all-day, food, music and ideas celebration, held in the heart of downtown Chicago.

Describe the challenges and key objectives
The issues addressed in Back To The Start are emotional and complex including animal confident, environmental pollution, and chemical usage. The design challenge was how to make these issues approachable for a broad audience with out losing their impact. Simultaneously,the goal was to create a style that mirrored the care that Chipotle and its partners have in creating responsibly raised food.

Describe how you arrived at the final design
It was a collaborative effort between the agency, the director, and the production company to arrive at the unique look of the farmer, his family, and the animals. Each figure was hand-crafted and hand-painted to create a design that evoke and emotional human connection.

Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
Back To The Start ignited a conversation in pop-culture. In only 9 days, the film had 5,071 relevant mentions across blogs, Twitter, news, forums, Facebook and earned 11,024,870 impressions via Twitter alone. With each stage awareness and engagement grew as fans viewed and shared the film, making Chipotle the 'no.4 Most Buzzed about Ad Online' and 'no.1 for Positive Brand Sentiment' according to NYTimes/Zeta. To date, the film has been view over 6m times on YouTube and earned 300MM+ media impressions. Finally, the Grammy's catapulted 'The Scientist' to no.1 on the Country iTunes chart.