Tomorrow you can play Chipotle’s new online game about food additives. Stoked much?

Let's play the new Chipotle online game that sounds like it might be not all that fun but let's play anyway.

Let’s meet back here tomorrow and compare scores.

Also, we can discuss if they might be overpromising calling this interactive advertisement a “game.”

Like most marketers, I remain impressed at the leadership they display, the high ground they stake out, and the clever ways they have of getting their social friends and fans to voluntarily participate in their marketing. Every now and then, though, I feel their preach exceeds their grasp (I am so sorry about that pun—it occurred to me as I was typing and I couldn’t convince my fingers to halt and they typed it and now they won’t go back and delete it; my fingers apparently enjoy awful puns more than my brain) (again, I apologize).

What my fingers meant by that pun in the previous paragraph is, the road the world-savers at Chipotle have chosen is so high, and the ground they are staking is so noble, sometimes they risk looking holier-than-thou. Is there risk of a backlash? If they become too trendy, too preachy, too twee about their practices it might seem less like grabbing a bite and more like attending the church-restaurant of your choice.

(Anecdotally, I know a few folks in their demo who are starting to feel like it’s a tedious obligation to attend lunch services the Chipotle temple and just slip out for a quick, no-nonsense Southwestern bite at Qdoba or someplace. Shhhhhhhh.)

None of this is a criticism of their boldness and imagination in making true, actual strides in improving the integrity of the food chain both in terms of health and humane treatment of the source material. Go, Chipotle, go, go. Lead that way.

My only point is, when they depend on people following their mission simply because it’s the right thing, the result might be less than engaging. But let’s wait till tomorrow.

Maybe it’s the next Mario Kart, this Faux Food Fight.

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UPDATED JULY 21

Well, as I suspected, it’s basically like an interactive classroom worksheet.

Here’s screen grabs. I got 11 out of 20 and they sent me a coupon on my phone.

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 4.12.01 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 4.13.57 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 4.15.05 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 4.15.40 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 4.15.54 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 4.16.22 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 4.17.20 PM

Only Chipotle might get by with a “game” like this—they probably have enough fans curious to know the difference between their food and the other choices, to help justify their fandom (not that I question being a Chipotle fan; it’s an easy and decent thing to be). So perhaps when “metrics” are reported this game will have more attention than it would if someone else, a Qdoba or Quiznos or other Q-francise, for example, were to attempt it.

I wonder if anyone plays the game more than once to get the coupon.

And I know I would have complained if the game had lacked ANY branding or ANY connection to a larger point the company is trying to make. So that works.

That’s probably a good topic for an upcoming post. What makes a “game” work when it’s clearly just a company trying to engage with potential customers?