Mother Wins Account of Chipotle Mexican Grill

NEW YORK Chipotle Mexican Grill has awarded its nearly $10 million advertising account to its “creative soul mate,” Mother, said Chris Arnold, the client’s self-described director of hoopla, hype and ballyhoo.

The burrito and taco restaurant chain, which has more than 300 locations in 17 states, recently met with nearly a dozen agencies in its search for a shop as “iconoclastic” as it is, Arnold said.

“Our ads have always been irreverent and quirky and we were looking for somebody who really got it in terms of a philosophical connection,” Arnold said.

The marketing approach seems to be working for the restaurant, whose print, outdoor and radio ads have helped drive up same-store sales 20-25 percent this year, according to Arnold.

Mother in New York will emulate the client’s offbeat style, first in a cultural video and then in evolutions of the chain’s current ads. No traditional campaigns have been scheduled, Arnold said.

CEO and professional chef Steve Ells founded Chipotle Mexican Grill in 1993. McDonald’s owns 90 percent of the company.