Knowing that I am a huge Chipotle fan, a number of friends immediately emailed me a link when Chipotle debuted its commercial, “The Scarecrow.” Thanks for thinking of me, Ling, Scott, Julie, John, Sarah, etc.

The commercial is packed with deliciously powerful emotional marketing strategies, one being fear.

chipotle ad scarecrow

So sad. So scary.

  • Who wants to eat chicken that are injected with growth hormones?
  • Who wants to eat beef-ish foods from cows that are inhumanely treated? The film did not even account for for bovine growth hormone, GMO corn feed, spraying of pesticide and bacteria-filled milk.
  • Who wants to eat food that is heavily sprayed with pesticides and herbicides (poison)?
  • Who wants to destroy the earth from over-farming, synthetic nitrogen, pesticides and herbicides?

At the end of the gut-wrenching journey, the Scarecrow returns home where food is grown the old-fashioned way, healthy.

And to stir our emotions even more, Chipotle had Fiona Apple sing 1971 children’s film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory‘s “Pure Imagination.” Nostalgia. Also an effective tool.

The film is set in a dystopian fantasy world where all food production is controlled by fictional industrial giant Crow Foods. The Crow Foods factory is staffed by scarecrows who have been displaced from their traditional jobs on the farm and are now relegated to working for the crows by helping them maintain their unsustainable processed food system.
Chipotle Press Release

Want to understand how fear works? Want to use it too?

This is by far one of the most effective advertising campaigns. Doesn’t this just makes you want to eat some Chipotle right now?

Your Chipotle evangelist,

Lawrence Chan

P.S. A delightful note from Gian Carlo about my SEO e-book.

seo testimonial

P.P.S. Mm … Two years ago, I sent in a request to Chipotle to serve tofu. Now Chipotle has it on the menu. I’d like to think that my voice was heard. 🙂