Chipotle appears to have taken content marketing to its logical conclusion by producing an online mini-series that never once mentions its own product.
From what we can tell, Farmed and Dangerous—created with NY “branded entertainment” firm Piro—stars Laura Palmer’s dad as a guy who does damage control for the kind of unethical corporate farming interest that earns the strong disapproval of the Chipotle organization. The plot, as seen in the trailer above, revolves around said industrial giant creating a petroleum-based feed for cattle, and it includes at least four half-hour episodes that could be extended into a second “season” if the experiment works.
According to our sister site AgencySpy, the purpose of the series is to examine “the lengths to which corporate agribusiness and its image- makers go to create a positive image of industrial agriculture”, the implication being that Chipotle are good guys who would never behave in such a way…
That’s what we call “a huge strawman”. In creating a fictional villain and having his company do all sorts of bad things, Chipotle can sort of claim to be above the “factory farming” fray without the added burden of having to make/prove any specific accusations against its rivals or change its own practices in any way.
You have to admit that Chipotle has done some very interesting things to promote itself recently whether you care for the brand’s dubious version of health-conscious populism or not. As for us, we’re ready to pay extra for pretty much anything that includes a side of guacamole. That stuff is delicious.