Chipotle hopes you’re laughing so hard at Ray Wise you forget this bold new satire is working an angle.

It’s the golden age of TV, some say. It’s the golden age of Chipotle, others say.

Chipotle is politely bringing you this objectively entertaining programming.

It’s probably only the bronze or silver age of non-traditional advertising experimentation, but it’s got a golden hue.

Now, those ages combine in a bit of media alchemy: a new series on Hulu starring terrific character actor Ray Wise will debut next month. It will be a satire of corporate farming. It will never overtly mention Chipotle, except in its “brought to you by” parts.

Hm. Is it me? Don’t you think that felt a little heavy handed? I should wait until I’ve binge-watched the whole thing to pass judgment, I suppose.

This show will just happen to represent the point of view that Chipotle takes on the topic of corporate farming. And that’s what gives this project its brilliance—it’s a really smart strategy to promote your point of view instead of your products, when your restaurant is so closely tied to the subject matter. I might argue that Chipotle doesn’t even do that good a job executing their many non-traditional efforts. But they’re talking about a topic that resonates.

I think that’s the key to Chipotle’s success in social media: people really care where their food comes from. Chipotle is the only restaurant making noise on the topic. That inspires fans and followers, even when the end result starts to feel, oh a little preachy and a tad self-serving.

3 comments

  1. Methinks their strategy is showing through their comedy. But you gotta admit, that last line is pretty killer.

    1. “…That’s progress.” Yes, this is the same kind of progress, I think. Not perfect, but still… something. Ray Wise looks delightful and makes the most of the heavy-handedness, it looks like from the trailer. Of course, that’s just a trailer. I NEED TO RESERVE MY HARSHER JUDGEMENTS.

      1. Agreed. I wonder if this is a new species of product placement. Or maybe regression to General Electric Theatre-style programming. Either way, I’ll take a bite…

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