Chipotle (CMG) is banking on a move that will see the launch of a downloadable, interactive game and clever anti-Big Food messaging — all with little reference to the Chipotle brand — to carry its healthy messaging to the masses.
And, most importantly, to youthful, health-conscience Millennials.
… the Millennial-friendly Mexican food chain will post “The Scarecrow,” a Big-Food-mocking 3½-minute animated video ad — and make available a free downloadable, interactive game on the topic. The twist: Both have virtually no Chipotle branding.
…The move precedes a series of four, TV show-length Big-Food-busting dark comedies, Farmed and Dangerous, that Chipotle will post online sometime in 2014. For Chipotle, it’s all about linking its name with the strong Millennial values to eat better, eat local — and brand lightly. It’s all in the hopes that Millennials — who are the heart of Chipotle’s target customer — will make Chipotle’s better-for-you messaging go viral.
“We’re trying to educate people about where their food comes from,” Mark Crumpacker, chief marketing officer at Chipotle, told the newspaper. And Millennials “are skeptical of brands that perpetuate themselves.”
But whether or not people will connect the restaurant with a viral messaging campaign that doesn’t easily identify itself is another thing altogether.
While the game itself could have a lot of downloads, David Stewart, marketing professor at Loyola Marymount University, tells USA Today, “hiding a brand name, especially in the digital world, is probably not a way to grow sales.”