- Chipotle Mexican Grill and legendary hip-hop artist RZA, the creator and producer of the group Wu-Tang Clan, have teamed up for SAVOR.WAVS, an immersive digital experience that turns each of the 51 ingredients used by Chipotle into sounds and visuals, according to a news release by the quick service restaurant chain. SAVOR.WAVS was developed by Chipotle and CAA Marketing.
- RZA composed the instrumental sounds and visuals based on their accompanying ingredient. The result is a unique visual song that represents any menu combination possible at Chipotle. Customers can go to SAVORWAVS.com to compose their own order that ends up as a 360-degree visual experience that reacts in real-time to the movement of mobile devices.
- Other noteworthy musicians have already spun their own songs via SAVOR.WAVS, per the release, including RZA's fellow Wu-Tang members Raekwon, Method Man and Ghostface Killah, along with The Head and the Heart, Awolnation, GRiZ and PANG!
Chipotle has been reshaping its marketing strategy this year, rolling out its first-ever national broadcast campaign for TV and releasing an unbranded video series on iTunes geared toward 7- to 10-year-olds and dedicated to food education. SAVOR.WAVS, while also focused on Chipotle's healthy ingredients messaging, takes a slightly different approach in execution, with an emphasis on user-generated content and bleeding edge tech including 360-degree video — offerings which the brand likely hopes will spur engagement and get people sharing their visual creations on social media.
Leveraging a well-known and acclaimed musician like RZA to aid in crafting the SAVOR.WAVS experience might attract interest from outside Chipotle's core customer base. In May, Lexus rolled out a similar campaign, tapping "Uptown Funk" hit maker Mark Ronson for an interactive music sequencer that let fans soundtrack and then share a video short starring the producer.
The SAVOR.WAVS news also comes at a time when Chipotle is facing another brand management issue in regards to food safety. It had to close a Virginia location this week after several customers fell ill with norovirus, an echo of a problem dating back to late 2015 and early 2016 that Chipotle had seemingly overcome. As with any reputation management challenge, once a brand gets tarnished around a specific event, any subsequent recurrence might draw extra criticism.