Spratt's Patent Limited factory

Subversive Advertising Against Big Food

Chipotle Mexican Grill is rolling out a big marketing campaign in which they will  scarcely mention their brand name. And they have no plans to air ads on television. The message here is aimed squarely at Millennials. It’s subversive advertising against big food — delivered in internet videos, free games, and ultimately four episodes of a dark comedy about factory food.

The campaign debuted Thursday on YouTube in a three and a half minute video — The Scarecrow — that’s already been viewed almost three million times.

The strategy is to connect with Millennial values by marketing a better quality of locally-produced food in sharp contrast to the factory food of many other restaurants.

This campaign continues Chipotle’s unconventional marketing strategy that has worked well for them. Through tough conditions of the last five years, they have been able to generate growing sales and profits that lead their industry.

We wonder what the net effect will be. Will Chipotle and similar brands amplify the emerging preference for a better quality of food? Or will they simply succeed in exploiting the latest healthy food halo?

Click here to read more in USA Today and here to read more in Bloomberg Businessweek.

Spratt’s Patent Limited factory, photograph © jordi.martorell / flickr

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