Chipotle campaign uses radio, website, packaging

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Chipotle Mexican Grill has introduced new marketing programs including advertising, a revamped website, and new packaging aimed at better communicating its commitment to “Food with Integrity,” and elevating the profile of the obsessive chef at its helm.


The ads in the new campaign call attention to Chipotle’s use of premium quality ingredients from more sustainable sources and demonstrate the company’s commitment to providing food that tastes good and is better for its customers. By calling out norms in fast-food advertising and promptly violating them, the campaign speaks to how Chipotle is shirking traditional fast-food advertising because it bucks traditional fast-food wisdom. The radio spots, for example, deconstruct typical fast-food advertising and explain that “we skip conventions of fast-food radio because we skip conventions of fast-food.” Chipotle’s Chris Arnold tells RBR-TVBR the radio the buy is “across our major markets and across formats.”

Beyond the advertising, Chipotle has revamped its website and packaging to better align around its focus on communicating its Food with Integrity vision. The website, chipotle.com, is designed to provide practical information and tools that customers expect (including restaurant locations, menu, general company information, and online ordering capabilities) while also helping Chipotle better talk about its vision. Several sections of the site give users the opportunity to go “under the foil” to learn more about its commitment to serving Food with Integrity, its accomplishments, and the thinking behind this unique philosophy.

To make better use of its packaging, Chipotle has incorporated a series of stories about the ingredients it uses and the lengths it goes to to source them. The new design style, called “passionate ramblings,” uses a hand-written lettering and an irreverent voice to talk about its commitment to sustainably raised ingredients in a way that is very personal and approachable. The new packaging also invites customers to submit their own Chipotle stories online, and may incorporate those into the packaging as well. The new look design is on a variety of packaging items, including drink cups, bags, and basket liners in all Chipotle restaurants.

Chipotle created the new advertising campaign internally and uses Minneapolis-based Compass Point Media for planning and buying. The company worked with San Francisco-based Sequence on the new packaging system and website design.

In addition to its efforts to sharpen the focus of its marketing around Food with Integrity, Chipotle founder, chairman and co-CEO Steve Ells has signed on as an investor and judge for the upcoming NBC alternative competition series, “America’s Next Great Restaurant.” Ells, a classically trained chef, joins celebrity chef Bobby Flay and other notable chefs and restaurateurs on the show where aspiring restaurant owners compete for the opportunity to develop their own restaurant concept. Chipotle inked the deal for its founder and CEO to help elevate his position as an obsessive chef.


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Carl has been with RBR-TVBR since 1997 and is currently Managing Director/Senior Editor. Residing in Northern Virginia, he covers the business of broadcasting, advertising, programming, new media and engineering. He’s also done a great deal of interviews for the company and handles our ever-growing stable of bylined columnists.