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
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...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document