Just a few seconds into Chipotle’s “Scarecrow” video, you feel as though you’re watching a contender for an academy award instead of an advertisement for a major corporation. The reality is that large demographics in the market today (particularly millennials) are responding to strong, visual storytelling. Within 5 days, 4 million people viewed Chipotle’s video, which is particularly impressive considering that the majority of the views resulted from word of mouth.


Indeed, instead of traditional advertisements run on television, Chipotle has taken a more organic approach to marketing. What’s even more unique is the fact that Chipotle is barely even mentioned throughout the video, hardly getting a five second logo-promo at the very end. Certainly a poignant moment in marketing if there ever was one, Chipotle set the bar for how businesses should approach social and content marketing when targeting online users, particularly millennials.


  1. It’s about values. One thing that resonates with consumers these days is when a company engages in cause-related marketing. By espousing your values (such as creating a healthier, more natural world) in your marketing, it gives the consumer something to root for. Furthermore, because it champions cultivating a better world, the video subtly promotes Chipotle’s dedication to quality goods.
  2. Cross promotion. Instead of promoting the restaurant chain itself, Chipotle did an excellent job of encouraging viewers to download the “Scarecrow” app and game on their smartphone and mobile devices. This allows Chipotle to stay in touch with consumers through the app and in so doing, helps them fully enjoy the reach of the video promotion.
  3. Designed to be memorable. By brilliantly re-harmonizing Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka to be a haunting score for the ad, Chipotle offered viewers a unique spin on a classic song. This immediately made the ad memorable and even offered symbolic lessons and messaging. The high quality of the animationalso made the video seem more like a short movie than an advertisement for a major brand.
  4. Tell a bigger story. The goal of the video was to showcase the dangers of processed foods and how much of the restaurant industry isn’t serving quality ingredients in their dishes. Again, this ties into cause-related marketing and the importance of focusing on a picture that’s larger than your brand and the bottom line. In the end, this makes consumers want to root for your goal – and thereby your business.
  5. Offer more for those who are interested. The behind the scenes look at the making of Chipotle’s Scarecrow video was designed to not only explain how the video was made, but why it was made. Enthusiasts have the opportunity to learn more about the brand, and Chipotle is able to build loyal customers in the service by creating another avenue for engagement.



This video campaign from Chipotle is a prime example that it doesn’t take a major marketing budget in order to have a major impact. A strong idea, dedication to the project, and quality execution can create a campaign that echoes with consumers and encourages them to support your brand.