Chipotle Shows Tough Side of Conscious Capitalism

scarecrow_wideI’m often asked when discussing Conscious Capitalism if and how in fact this bold idea will really change long standing practices in the business world that many people have begun to just accept as “the way things are” instead of seeing the future potential for good that is out there.

At first it is not easy to grasp how things will improve. Industries spend huge amounts of money to protect the interests of existing enterprises, keep competition limited, and insure that dramatic change is slow and moderated to reduce the effect on existing profit centers.

Today one of the many challenges we face is improving our food supply and raising our level of nutrition. Farm subsidies, low nutrition high profit products, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and factory farmed animals are all very important discussions but easily become divisive political arguments when we rely on the government to play referee.

After the success of Back to the Start in 2011-12, last week Chipotle took a second shot across the bow of Big Food by releasing the short film and interactive game The Scarecrow online.

Now Chipotle is betting that it can sell even more burritos by lambasting the Big Food companies that drug animals in the name of profit. That’s the message of a new short film and game the company launched Thursday that takes a cue from advocacy films like The Meatrix.

The film and game combination are brilliant in connecting emotionally with viewers. The interactive game keeps the subject front and center longer than the length of the commercial itself and use of  “Pure Imagination” from the 1971 film classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as the soundtrack stirs childhood memories for those of us older viewers.

So when people ask me how (or why) are big established industries going to change? My answer is simple… Aggressive free market competition from companies that start with love, operate with a higher purpose, and provide substantially better products will push all companies to improve their offerings.

Watch The Scarecrow below and witness the beginnings of what will become an aggressive competitive movement.

UPDATE 9/18: I found this great interview with Moonbot Studios, the creative team behind The Scarecrow.

INTERVIEW: The brilliant minds behind Chipotle’s haunting scarecrow ad


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *