What’s Wrong With This Chipotle Commercial?

The song is too sad.
Most of the spot focuses on the negative.
The animation style is weird.
It’s too long.
I don’t know what the product is until the very end.
There’s no strong call-to-action.
Where the hell is the food? You can’t have a food commercial and not show food?
People don’t like to be reminded that their food comes from animals.
Willie Nelson is too old for the target market.
Willie Nelson is too country for the target market.
It reminds us of what’s wrong with things.
It could be for any farm-fresh product.
There’s no voice-over walking us through Chipotle’s philosophy.
The cows in the good half are square. Square reminds me of boxes, which aren’t natural.
The length isn’t good for television, and if we don’t run it on television who’s going to see it?
The farmer is too fat.

I’m sure there are more. What else?


12 thoughts on “What’s Wrong With This Chipotle Commercial?

  1. Animation = kids, and Chipotle isn't really a kids restaurant.

    Could get angry letters from large corporations for portraying them as polluters.

    Starts too slow.

    The farmer in the middle has a mustache. The farmer at the end has a white mustache and glasses. Is this supposed to be the same guy from the beginning? People probably won't get that.

    It might be better to show the problem/solution story if we just showed the solution and not the problem.


  2. The pigs look like medical capsules in the beginning and they still look that way in the end even though they're in a natural setting during the last half. Shouldn't there be a change in how they look?
    The Chipotle logo is too small on the truck and sign at the end. Make the logo bigger.


  3. This creative bash is hilarious! Even thought I agree AND disagree with some points made here, I gotta be honest and say I would put this spot in my “book” in a second. I love the track and the animation. Tell me you wouldn't put this in your book?

    But yes, the farmer is too fat, and Willie Nelson is a druggie. 🙂


  4. To be clear, this spot is brilliant. It's charming. It's perfectly executed.

    I think what Jim's trying to show is that there are always reasons to kill great work. Sally Hogshead said, “Brilliant ideas are fragile. They won't get produced unless everyone in the agency is dedicated to helping them through.” That includes standing together when clients say with all the sincerity of their heart, “I don't know…It's great. But isn't the farmer is too fat? And Willie Nelson is a druggie.”


  5. my prof just showed this in class as a great example of viral marketing, im not sure if this spot is being condemned or praised…or that you're doing exactly what Greg above is saying: too many chances for this spot to be killed and yet it wasn't
    I think Willie Nelson might be someone that younger people isn't familiar with but his song was also used in a movie called Wag the Dog, also in a viral sort of way…



  6. The people look fat. We don't want people to think you get fat from eating Chipotle.

    Nobody wants to be preached at or educated. Can't we just do something funny?

    When the tiles flip – where do the animals come from? That doesn't make sense at all. Don't tell me they're coming from China.

    The farmers bashing down the barns, isn't that violent? We don't want people to take to the streets and start pushing down buildings.

    It starts off too slow. That's wasted time — let's just get right to it.

    What's wrong with manufacturing? We need more manufacturing jobs.

    I'm not sure of the gender of the farmer's kid. Is it a girl or a boy? We should decide.

    What if the teamsters think we're down on trucking?

    Is that last truck a Hybrid? We should make sure it's obviously a Hybrid.


  7. I was following you until you got to the bit about people not seeing it because it's not on TV. I recognize that people still see a majority of their advertising on television and that we in the industry exist in a bubble. But I think given Chipotle's target audience, the idea of a spot that runs online and goes viral isn't a terrible strategy. I'd wager that most of the people who eat at Chipotle are also the kind of people who consume most of their content online these days, which means this not running on TV isn't exactly a terrible notion. Would they have captured a larger audience running it on TV? Sure. But the conceit that nobody would see it because it didn't run on TV is just outdated.


  8. Anon, you're absolutely correct. Jim was being very sarcastic with this post, as are most of the people who've commented. Jim was trying to show how that great ideas need to be championed because it is very easy it is to kill a brilliant idea with simple-minded objections.

    You are right to say “the conceit that nobody would see it because it didn't run on TV is just outdated.” And you will be surprised at how frequently you have to explain that sentiment to disbelieving clients.


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