Just as the buzz surrounding Chipotle’s “Scarecrow” promotion dies down, the restaurant chain is set to launch its new satirical series about farming next month.
Beginning in mid-February, Chipotle will release “Farmed and Dangerous,” a four-part comedy series on Hulu, a TV-streaming service. The series was produced by Chipotle and Piro, a New York-based studio.
According to a Chipotle press release, the series “satirizes the lengths to which corporate agribusiness and its image-makers go to create a positive image of industrial agriculture.”
The New York Times reports the series begins with a bang – literally – as a cow explodes while feeding on petroleum pellets, a fictional low-cost feed source used by farmers. The series will also take jabs at antibiotics and food libel laws.
“As you do with all comedy, you take a real issue and then amp it up,” Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle chief marketing officer and an executive producer of the series told The New York Times.
For the nation’s agricultural community, it appears Chipotle’s messaging will repeat itself. The company’s “Scarecrow” promotion, released in September 2013, failed to inspire the conversation Chipotle had originally intended it to have.
The majority of responses from consumers – especially from the social media-driven Mellennials – used the film as fact, leaving farmers to correct the misconceptions. However, many of these responses have fallen onto deaf ears. Read some of the pro-agriculture responses here.
Paul Jeschke, an Illinois farmer, explained that Chipotle would “prefer for us to continue to farm as we did in our great-grandparents' time. Yet, these folks don't want to live their lives like their great-grandparents did.”
Some of the nation’s top advertising executives named “Scarecrow” one of the worst commercials of 2013. Jeff Goodby, co-founder of Omnicom Group Inc.’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, believes “Scarecrow” misses the mark. Instead of promoting Chipotle, it pushes a pro-vegetarian message.
"The films use vegetarian imagery to sell meat," Goodby said. "I come away thinking I shouldn't be eating meat at all, and I don't think that's their point."
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