Ad Campaign Spotlight: Chipotle’s “Back to the Start”

Chipotle just launched a new campaign promoting its stance on sustainable farming, and we love it. The short film is a 2-minute, animated feature describing a pig and cow farmer’s life, and how in the end, natural farming is better for everyone.

The film starts out with a happy farm scene, where a farmer and his family are standing with their free-range pigs and cows that, we have to say, are really cute. The farmer is soon drawn to the profits of factory farming, and his world is transformed into a dreary, gray cityscape. The now hormone-engorged pigs are “slaughtered” by being squished into little cubes, and the film details the waste factories produce by polluting water sources.

Cut back to the farmer, alone in the winter, where he has an epiphany that not only will natural farming give him his animals back, but help protect the earth and his livelihood. He slowly turns his world over, tearing down the buildings and fences and letting his happy, non-hormone-ridden animals roam free again.

Not only does this ad handle slaughtering animals and the tough subject of industrial farming today in an upbeat, entertaining way (no dead animal pictures or slaughter horror stories to be found) but it gets the message across without being obnoxious. We love the execution, too. They could have copped out and simply animated the video, but instead they used 3-D animation techniques combined with stop-motion video. Not only is it visually stunning, but it’s unique enough to capture the attention of the public and convey this important message.

The entire video is set to Willie Nelson singing Coldplay’s “Back to the Start,” which is available on iTunes. As a bonus, $.60 from every download will go to the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, which was set up to fund initiatives surrounding sustainable agriculture, family farming and culinary education.

Well done, Chipotle.