Chipotle’s ‘Scarecrow’ Campaign: Leveraging ICT for Communicating Sustainability

Case Details Case Introduction 1 Case Introduction 2 Case Excerpts

<< Previous


Past Advertising Campaigns Of Chipotle

During the initial days of its operation, Chipotle relied mainly on outdoor advertising like billboards, radio ads, and word-of mouth to reach its target customers. It followed some conventional promotional strategies like giving out free burritos on special occasions like new store openings and holidays.......

An important occasion on which burritos were given free of cost to consumers was Halloween. It was called the ‘Boorito promotion’ and people who visited Chipotle’s restaurants dressed up as burritos on Halloween were given free burritos.........

Marketing Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing, Case Studies
Marketing Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing, Case Studies
PayPal (9USD)

The 'Scarecrow' Campaign

In September 2013, Chipotle started a new advertising campaign called the ‘Scarecrow Campaign’. The campaign consisted of a short animated film and a game compatible with iOS . The new ad campaign was developed by Chipotle in collaboration with CAA Marketing . The video and game for the campaign were made by a small media company called Moonbot Studios which had won the Oscars for best animated short film in the year 2012............

In Support Of Sustainable Farming?

Continuing with its tradition started in the ‘Back to the Start’ campaign, the Scarecrow campaign too revolved around the issue of industrialized farming that was nonsustainable. The campaign achieved the dual goals of informing the consumers about the business practices followed by its competitors in the fast food business while subtly hinting that the business practices followed by Chipotle were more sustainable. .........

Campaign's Performance

The ‘Scarecrow’ campaign was successful and the animated video went viral within hours of its being posted on the internet. The video got 6.5 million views on YouTube within two weeks of its release. The mobile app too was a big hit on the App Store and was downloaded 250,000 times within 4 days of its release. The success of the game made it one of the top 15 free iOS apps in the US. By April 2014, the short animated video had attracted 12 million views, making it one of the most highly viewed videos on YouTube. ...........


Though quite successful, the new campaign also came in for criticism from both analysts and competitors. Some critics of the campaign opined that it was unfair and distorted the way in which conventional farming was done in the US. Farmers in USA criticized the campaign saying that all farmers took good care of the animals raised on their farms and that they did not inject chicken with green slime or confine cows to metal boxes. Ryan Goodman, the owner of a ranch and blog writer, wrote,..........

Looking Forward

In February 2014, Chipotle released a webisode of a four-part series called ‘Farmed and Dangerous’ on the video streaming service . Farmed and Dangerous was a comedy series which criticized the big firms involved in industrial farming. In the webisode, a fictional firm called ‘Animoil’ feeds the cows raised on its farms with petropellets directly produced from petroleum rather than fodder from corn and soyabean...........


Exhibit I:Selected Financial Data of Chipotle From 2009 to 2013 (Figures in US$ Million)
Exhibit II:Screenshots of Scarecrow Animation Video and Game
Exhibit III:Advertising and Marketing Costs of Chipotle from 2008 to 2013
Exhibit IV:ForSight’s Analysis of Twitter Conversations