I'm sure this is not a perfect ad, the music seems a bit at odds with the style of the visuals, and it's a bit long at 2:20 — but it's definitely worth talking about. To support their Cultivate Foundation, Chipotle enlisted Willie Nelson to do his own version of Coldplay's Scientist, (You know it, "Noooobody said it was easaaaaaay...") and put it over a stop motion animation of farming gone bad and then good again. You can download the song via iTunes to do your part.
More and more you see brands tying themselves to a cause, sometimes to good effect and sometimes not. It usually works best when the cause doesn't seem slapped on as an afterthought or marketing trick. If it comes from the values of the brand it is way more believable. Personally, I believe it in this case, as sustainable farming has been something Chipotle has been talking about for awhile, it's part of who they are.
Here's what the company says about this latest piece: "Coldplay's haunting classic "The Scientist" is performed by country music legend Willie Nelson for the soundtrack of the short film entitled "Back to the Start." The film, by film-maker Johnny Kelly, depicts the life of a farmer as he slowly turns his family farm into an industrial animal factory before seeing the errors of his ways and opting for a more sustainable future. Both the film and the soundtrack were commissioned by Chipotle to emphasize the importance of developing a sustainable food system."
Again, I'm not sure the 'haunting music' lends the right kind of tension with the visuals, but all in all, I'm glad to see a big company pushing this agenda. It's important. If you don't believe so - go watch Food, Inc.
I like to pull stills on such projects, as it helps appreciate the work and talent that went into producing it. Below are a few:
Happy Farming Family:
Love the perspective on this shot:
Uh-oh. Somethings gone wrong when you farm looks like this: (You hear us Monsanto?)
A Conundrum of sorts: (nice color)
Pretty cool technique here:
Here's the full-piece:
Maybe even better are Johnny Kelly's production shots via Flickr: