In it, a dejected scarecrow living in a world of processed food meanders around town, observing the sad state that his world has become. Nothing around him is natural anymore: chickens are pumped full of hormones, and cows are stacked on top of each other in factories, permanently attached to milking machines with no view of the sun. The worst part is that everyone around him is happily going about their business, buying processed food products without a care in the world. They don’t notice – or mind – that the animals are being treated poorly, or that their food is brimming with unnatural chemicals.
The first half of the video is bleak and pulls at your heartstrings, but things begin to look up when the scarecrow returns to his home in the country. There he is inspired to turn his small garden into a farm, and eventually opens a burrito stand in the city.
The scarecrow, once so down and out, becomes the hero of the story. By breaking free from a life that everyone around him is so accustomed to – but bothers the scarecrow so much – he’s able to create real change and hope for a better future. This is so much more than an ad; it’s a statement about an unfortunate aspect of the world and how many of us are so blissfully unaware that we accept it.
The success of the video, which has more than 14 million views, lies in people’s emotional responses to the storyline. The three-and-a-half-minute spot went viral across social media, allowing Chipotle to reach a wider audience and making people curious about where their food comes from and how it’s raised. At the same time, the video helped build Chipotle’s brand awareness by communicating the company’s mission to the world in an honest, relatable way.