Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Animated Chipotle ad fails to move local curmudgeon

Mexican-Chain-that-wants-you-to-not-think-it's-a-chain Chipotle released a long-form ad.  EVERYBODY FREAKED OUT.

Time Newsfeed, whatever that is, calls it "the kind of dreamy, lilting mini-movie that you’d watch before a full-length Pixar film."

SF Weekly raves "Chipotle Makes a Beautiful Animated Short That Also Happens to Be an Ad"

And Gawker, which prides itself on unabashed snark and generally being an asshole to everyone, has its icy cold heart melted: "There's No Getting Around It: The New Chipotle Ad Is Amazing"

By now, you must have a creeping sense of dread about where I'm going with this.  Ready?

It's not that great.

Sure, it has the look and feel of a Pixar short.  That's great.  Fine.  But isn't that almost a cliche, in and of itself, at this point?

The Fiona Apple cover of "Pure Imagination" is terrible.  The song doesn't fit her voice at all.  And when it's not coming out of Gene Wilder's mouth, it suddenly just becomes an underdeveloped ides of a song, rather than a song itself.

(By contrast, the Wille Nelson cover of Coldplay's "The Scientist" in the PREVIOUS Chipotle faux Pixar ad is fine.  I don't like Willie Nelson much, but that ad as a whole just works better.)

On to the content.  We see the titular Scarecrow going to work in a Big Evil mass-production food facility.  Instead of an occupation that would be a better fit for him, like scaring crows away, he seems to be some kind of handyman/general maintenance.  (Also, I'm assuming it's a "him" but I guess it could be a "her."  The film isn't clear.)  In fact, crows seem oddly drawn to the Scarecrow, so he's not very good at that.  YOU HAD ONE JOB.

The first 1:50 is this sad sack moping around the factory generally hating his job. Then he goes home and cuts up some vegetables and opens what looks to be a taco pop-up shop.  Fine, whatever.

Why people are freaking out over this is beyond me.  I know, it's not the typical fast food ad (in fact, it's ostensibly not even for the restaurant chain itself, but for some video game they're making, obviously, to entice people to come to the restaurant), and everybody loves Pixar, but the message here is so blindingly obvious and preachy that any emotional impact is blunted.  We know how we're supposed to feel, so there's no surprise.  MASS PRODUCED FOOD BAD, FRESH FARM FOOD GOOD.  Where's the excitement in that?

I know, I'm a crank.


Tamagosan said...

Ahhhh there should have been a disclaimer about the cow's eyes! I'm a wuss, though.

Seems like Scarecrow turns vegetarian, too, after that, what with all the peppers on his obviously reclaimed desert farm, itself a clear enviro-no-no...

In any case, Chipotle has always the greenwashing marketing message down, so bravo to them on that. But making a well-constructed, tasty burrito? Ha!

Greg said...


Mr. 40 goings on 28! Mister SIR!

Sure it is "better" than some ad extruded from the collective anus of whatever the frak but wow omg .


-ei fucking o.

Tamagosan said...

More from the folks at Civil Eats. Although they cite "facts", I prefer your write-up...

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