Chipotle has already mastered the art of tasty, fast-casual dining, and it seems it’s pretty adept at producing short films, too. The burrito chain’s newest promo is a beautifully crafted three-and-a-half-minute video called The Scarecrow, part of a larger campaign that includes a free iOS game.
But the video doesn’t seem like a commercial or a promo at all. Instead, it’s the kind of dreamy, lilting mini-movie that you’d watch before a full-length Pixar film. It features the song “Pure Imagination” from the 1971 Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, covered by Fiona Apple. Chipotle provides the following plot synopsis on its website:
In a dystopian fantasy world, all food production is controlled by fictional industrial giant Crow Foods. Scarecrows have been displaced from their traditional role of protecting food, and are now servants to the crows and their evil plans to dominate the food system. Dreaming of something better, a lone scarecrow sets out to provide an alternative to the unsustainable processed food from the factory.
The video builds on the company’s first ad, released in 2011, which featured Willie Nelson covering Coldplay’s “The Scientist.” Like the new video, the 2011 ad centered on the theme of rejecting factory farming and instead adapting more sustainable practices: