Chipotle's the Scarecrow

Topics: Food, Chili pepper Pages: 5 (767 words) Published: October 14, 2013

“The Scarecrow”
In the past month, Chipotle a major fast food company released an animated short

called “The Scarecrow” that depicts factory-farming methods common in North America.

The ad depicts a lonely scarecrow more conscious than the rest of his fellow scarecrow

workers, who goes against the grain of the society he lives in to “cultivate a better world.”

The video aims to suggest that Chipotle practices safe farming methods and genuinely

cares about the animals and sustainably cultivated ingredients it puts into its products.

While Chipotle may be a more conscious alternative than many other fast food

restaurants, in the end it is still a major fast food company whose top priority is profit.

The video, which was released on YouTube, generated over 6 million views in just a

few short weeks. The animated short’s target audience may have been intended for the

younger generation, who generally have less time for slow cooked meals. The ad

suggests that if you are going to eat fast food then eat their food because it’s better for

you and the animals. “The Scarecrow” intends to aim at people who are seemingly more

conscious about environmental issues and animal welfare. From a child’s perspective it

seems like a Pixar film and not an advertisement at all, and Chipotle’s clever use of

animation inadvertently could trick children into becoming lifetime patrons of the fast food

chain. As Jean Kilbourne said in “Can’t buy my love” that 18-34 year olds generate huge

disposable income “because the earlier you get them, the sooner you imprint the brand

name.”(Pg. 35)
Chilton,2

The Scarecrow” is about a scarecrow who works for Crow Food, Inc., a nefarious

industrial food company. The commercial features the song “Pure Imagination” from “Willy

Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” as sung by Fiona Apple. The scarecrow is followed by

an ominous crow that is protective of the company image and keeps a watchful eye on

the workers. The scarecrow witnesses how cruel and deceptive the company’s methods

are. He decides to do something about it by growing his own fresh produce. The

commercial concludes with the scarecrow preparing fresh meals at a makeshift stand

wedged between Crow Food outlets. The scarecrow’s stand piques the interest of

several people. Above the stand, a banner unfurls. It declares, “Cultivate a better world.”

At the end of the commercial, viewers are prompted to download a game app to play the

role of the scarecrow in his effort to better the world.

The video implies that the current farm production methods of food processing, using

antibiotics, and harsh crowding of animals is something that the company does not

conform too. During the video the scarecrow seems alone amongst the rest of his fellow

scarecrows. The video resonates the mindlessness of the people who live in the “city” that

eat whatever pops out of the conveyer belts and he is looking from the outside in. The city

is shown as a dark far away land that is cold and made of metal, while his farm is a

brightly lit spot of comfort and warmth. The symbols point to the ever-present “machine”

that controls us all on a daily basis.

The ad tries to invoke the feeling of sadness and sympathy for the animals that are Chilton, 3

being treated poorly and is done so very effectively. The food plant is dark, sorrowful, and

run by machine crows. By using animation and the symbol of a scarecrow, it softens the

viewer’s hearts and brings them back to childhood and innocence. When the...
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