- Chipotle Mexican Grill enlisted popular TikTok creators to help celebrate the return of carne asada. Influencers powering the accounts Angry Reactions, Brittany Broski, Kate from TikTok, Lady Efron and Newt shared their reactions in duet videos on the social video app, according to information the company emailed to Mobile Marketer.
- Chipotle fans can participate in the campaign by using TikTok's duet feature to create a split-screen video with the chain's original version that shows how it prepares carne asada, which will be available at restaurants starting today for a limited time.
- Chipotle was an early adopter of TikTok for its marketing campaigns, but the latest move comes as the app seeks new ownership to avoid a possible U.S. ban. Chipotle first offered carne asada to the 16 million members of its Chipotle Rewards loyalty program on Sept. 22-23 through its mobile app and website, and later expanded it as a digital-only menu item on Sept. 24-27.
Chipotle is parlaying the growing popularity of "reaction videos" on social media with its latest effort to promote the return of carne asada to its menu. By enlisting popular TikTok creators to create reaction videos with the app's duets feature, the fast-casual chain aims to urge other people to post their own videos, helping to extend the campaign's reach. Chipotle's original video had been viewed more than 2 million times as of early Sept. 28, which is much less than its past videos that racked up billions of views.
The smaller viewership may indicate that Chipotle ran a scaled-back campaign as TikTok faced the possibility of being banned in the U.S. A federal judge yesterday blocked the Trump administration's effort to halt downloads of TikTok over national security concerns. The ruling gives the app's parent company, Chinese tech giant ByteDance, more time to receive approval on a possible deal to sell its U.S. operations to a group of investors including Oracle and Walmart. The U.S. Commerce Department will enact a full ban on Nov. 12 that makes TikTok unusable in the U.S. if a deal isn't completed, CNBC reported.
Chipotle was an early adopter of TikTok as the app started to gain popularity in the U.S. last year, and has run multiple campaigns to engage customers with its brand. Most recently, the chain partnered with a TikTok creator house to promote a new group-ordering feature in its app. Before that, Chipotle ran an "Unlock the Guac" challenge on TikTok as part of its yearly celebration of National Avocado Day. The campaign asked people to guess passwords and send them in a text message to unlock an offer for free guacamole. In June, Chipotle celebrated Pride Month with a "Lunch & Listen" session with influencers on TikTok to raise money for charity.
Chipotle has ramped up digital promotions to connect with younger consumers who are more engaged with social media, video games and streaming platforms. The recent efforts include an esports campaign in August with professional skateboarder Tony Hawk that marked the first Chipotle menu item named after a celebrity. The co-promotional effort for the Tony Hawk Burrito and Activision's latest "Tony Hawk" video game included a gaming session on Chipotle's channel on livestreaming platform Twitch.
Chipotle's promotions come as many cities and states ease lockdowns on restaurants, making foot traffic a bigger priority. The chain began reopening its dining rooms in May, and by the following month was offering limited in-restaurant or patio seating at 85% of its locations, CEO Brian Niccol said in a quarterly earnings call. Digital sales more than tripled to a record $829 million, making up 61% of total Q2 revenue, as consumers ordered more delivery or takeout.