- Chipotle Mexican Grill on Nov. 16 debuted a short film titled "A Future Begins" featuring music by singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves, according to a press release. To mark the debut, the fast casual chain also teamed up with workwear brand Carhartt for limited-edition pieces that will drop on Nov. 19 at 12 p.m. ET on chipotlegoods.com.
- Chipotle launched the campaign across its owned channels, and the full film, which uses stop motion animation, will premiere on Nov. 25 in a first-of-its-kind commercial pod during the Raiders-Cowboys game on Thanksgiving Day, per details emailed to Marketing Dive.
- Created by agency Observatory, the purpose-driven effort is part of Chipotle's $5 million, five-year commitment to support the future of farming. The chain is working with the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) and asking consumers to sign a petition on its website as the organization advocates for policy changes in the 2023 Farm Bill.
The celebrity-scored short film and merchandise collection with Carhartt are intended to bring attention to Chipotle's work to support the future of farming. U.S. agriculture has lost over 40 times more farmers than it gained over the last five years, per USDA data cited in the press release, and the U.S. has lost more than 20 million acres of farmland over the last decade, per Farm Progress. The stop-motion film is based on the true story of a Chipotle farmer whose child returned from college to save the family farm by introducing new technology and sustainable growing techniques.
"A Future Begins" is a sequel to the brand's 2011 short film "Back to the Start," which featured Willie Nelson's cover of Coldplay's "The Scientist" and emphasized the need for sustainable farming. Like the original, the new film also features a Coldplay cover, with Musgraves reimagining the band's song "Fix You." By working with a musician on the release of a new song, Chipotle can authentically engage with the Grammy Award-winner's fans around brand purpose.
By collaborating with Carhartt on a limited-edition line that includes a custom apron, jacket, hat and a variety of patches, Chipotle returns to the branded merchandise tactic that is frequently utilized by QSR and CPG brands to engage with consumers around culture and leverage the growth of online shopping. Carhartt created four shoppable looks inspired by characters in the short film, deepening the collaboration.
To stem the tides that are imperiling agriculture and young farmers, Chipotle is working with the NYFC to push Congress to invest $2.5 billion toward securing access to up to 1 million acres for young farmers. Along with directing consumers to add their names to the list of supporters, the chain will donate proceeds to the NYFC through the chain's charitable Real Change platform. Chipotle for a limited time will also display a QR code that links to the short film on stickers added to digital orders.
"'Back to the Start' was an iconic moment in advertising almost a decade ago, serving as the brand's first-ever national TV ad," CMO Chris Brandt said in the press release. "While Chipotle's values remain unchanged, the urgency behind our efforts to revitalize farming has only intensified."
"A Future Begins" was launched across the brand's YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter channels and will debut during what could be a highly watched Thanksgiving Day football game in a commercial pod that features the entire short film. Earlier this year, the brand's first Super Bowl commercial highlighted the effect of Chipotle's "Food with Integrity" standards to help cut carbon emissions, save water and support local growers.