Chipotle, a Mexican grill fast-food chain, commissioned an incredibly effective and beautiful commercial from filmmaker Johnny Kelly to promote a more sustainable food system.
Using stop motion animation, the commercial tells the story of a farmer who slowly sells out to corporate food preparation, his small farm turning into big factories where pigs are rolled out on conveyer belts. The piece transitions throughout the seasons and in winter the farmer realizes that this way of life is wrong and decides to go “back to the start” returning back to a natural and healthy way of farming, opting to sell his livestock to Chipotle where they support this sustainable system of farming. And it’s all set to Coldplay’s ‘The Scientist’ performed by Willie Nelson.
As an animation major, I really enjoyed this commercial completely separate from its message and standpoint. Johnny Kelly has done other commercial work that I admire but I think this is really his standout work so far. It’s simple, small, and poignant, but was in actuality quite a feat to pull off. This behind the scenes video shows how impressive this animation really is.
I think this is a great message for Chipotle to send out. It seems like pretty heavy-handed advertising for Chipotle but it still is a nice message presented in an effective way. The importance of sustainable farming is something we’ve talked about in detail in this course and I feel like this commercial is a good marriage between art and environmental consciousness (all wrapped up together with advertising).
It’s also nice to see a fast food restaurant trying to make a difference about our food situation in our culture. Chipotle has created The Chipotle Cultivate Foundation “dedicated to creating a sustainable, healthful, and equitable food future.” This foundation funds initiatives that help improve the food industry and food education.
Here is more work by Johnny Kelly as well as links to blogs talking about the Chipotle commercial.