Chipotle's "Scarecrow": a Triumph of Branding and Storytelling

How do I love thee “Scarecrow”? Let me count the ways:

• I know Chipotle is a business whose primary motivation is not to rid the world of factory farming, but to sell me more burritos, and was once owned,  in part, by McDonalds, but the craft and beauty of their story so entranced and moved me  as a consumer that, frankly, I don’t care. Hook line and sinker for your messaging—that’s how I fell.

• At QUO VADIS one of the lines in our Manifesto is, “Nothing is more memorable than truth beautifully told”, and this video epitomizes that spirt: from the gorgeous score and singing of  Fiona Apple, to the beautifully animated graphics, and everything in between, it demonstrates the ability of a brilliantly realized brand video to rivet an audience’s attention in a way that competes with anything on the big screen.

• We often say “People think with their hearts first” and this is also a wonderful example of that adage—the piece so effectively puts the viewer into  a emotional state that their chicken could be raised in Fukoshima and I’d still order my burrito with “extra chicken, please.”

Sometimes business wonder about the effectiveness of branding and justifiably so. The jury’s not in yet on the number of mobile app downloads, or how their brand awareness has been enhanced, but from my perspective, from the standpoint of brand strategy and creative direction, I predict it will be an out of the park home run.

Congratulations to Fiona Apple, CAA Marketing and the Oscar-winning animators at Moonbot Studios for this remarkable piece of work.

Be bold and prosper.

Rick Julian QUO VADIS

Rick Julian is an award winning Creative Director and Brand Strategist at  QUO VADIS, a branding agency in Atlanta, GA.

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Rick Julian

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