Why Last Night’s Big Win For Chipotle — Featuring Willie Nelson & Cold Play — Didn’t Even Happen On TV

February 13, 2012 — 0

UPDATE: Thanks to Chiptole for reaching out this morning after they read this post.  Turns out, McDonalds divested its share of Chipotle years ago, so Chipotle is not a “Golden Arches” company anymore.  Which might explain…

The most important thing about last night’s Chipotle commercial PSA wasn’t even the spot itself.   It was something worth more than all the media McDonald’s Chipotle bought.  And it didn’t even happen on TV. 

Johnny Kelly’s CG-animated ad for Chipotle

First, in case you missed it, here’s last night’s spot, created by animator Johnny Kelly, featuring Willie Nelson covering Cold Play’s “Back to the Start.”  It’s Chiptole’s first ever national campaign:

Yes, the spot’s really, really good.  

Yes, it premiered during the Grammy’s, reaching many millions of viewers who’d never seen the brand on TV before. 

Yes, positive interest in the brand spiked 1750% in the first minute after it launched.

Yes, sales of the original Cold Play song shot up on iTunes, immediately.

Yes, Willie Nelson made some cash and can now buy some weed Chipotle for himself.

Yes, tweets like this are all over the twittersphere:


@kristainchicago Krista

Social media at work. I had to rewind the dvr to watch the chipotle commercial. Because of twitter. And then I downloaded willie nelson.

But what really mattered most happened next.  Chipotle’s own employees took to social media to reinforce the campaign’s credibility:


voltaman33 (17 minutes ago)

I work at Chipotle and they do go back to the start. No hormones, RGBH, and most is organic. Truely a great movement: Food with Integrity.

When the very people who handle and prepare your food — not the marketing tools who engineer image — take to the interwebs to share their pride in the company’s message reality, Chipotle wins. 

When a McDonald’s company launches a local farming, sustainable living campaign and it doesn’t blow up in its corporate face, Chiptole wins.   That, yo, is something media dollars can’t buy. 

I never thought I’d say this, but Chipotle wins.  




A Thin Line: MTV’s Campaign Against Digital Abuse With Facebook, MySpace, Anti-Defamation League And More

December 4, 2009 — 1

Our new, multi-year pro-social campaign, A THIN LINE, launched today, in partnership with Facebook, MySpace, The Family Violence Prevention Fund, the Anti-Defamation League and more. Our goal is to empower youth to stop the spread of digital abuse in the form of “sexting,” cyberbullying and digital dating abuse.

A new study conducted by MTV and Associated Press uncovered these staggering figures:

– 50% of 14-24 Year Olds Have Experienced Digital Abuse
– 3 in 10 Have Sent or Received Nude ‘Sext’ Messages
– 61% who have “sexted” report being pressured to do so at least once
– 29% have shared naked images of themselves with someone they only knew online
– Targets of digital abuse are almost 3x as likely to contemplate suicide
– Targets of digital abuse are 3x more likely to consider dropping out of school
– Only 1 in 4 believe that their digital actions could have legal consequences

Watch these powerful new PSA’s we’re premiering today…

My friend and colleague, Jason Rzepka, said today: “They’re dealing with a reality that no generation before them has ever encountered — being connected 24/7, all week long, across myriad digital platforms. It’s part of being a young person from now on. There’s no roadmap. And so far, a true code of ethics


ESPN Develops Toshiba’s New Ad Campaign

November 3, 2009 — 1



Cabler Acts as Ad Shop to Create Spots That Show How Sports Fans Can Use Marketer’s TVs, Laptops
by Brian Steinberg

NEW YORK ( — Weaving advertising into a flagship ESPN property such as “SportsCenter” is old hat; what isn’t so common is a media outlet helping to design advertising that ties products and services being sold to the very specific ways in which its viewers might use them.

To help sell Toshiba TV sets and laptops, ESPN worked with the Japanese company to create advertising that illustrates specifically how ESPN fans could use those products. The ESPN-centric campaign represents “one of our efforts to reach sports fans while they are watching their favorite team in the living room or if they are on a laptop trying to check fantasy scores,” said Eddie Temistokle, manager-corporate communications, Toshiba America. “We really want to engage the whole fan base.”

But to do so, a greater number of marketers have discovered, it helps to have the media outlet that brings viewers to the screen — whether it be TV, computer or mobile — helping to craft the message. Indeed, while Toshiba in the past has relied more on ads that are somewhat serious in tone, working with ESPN resulted in commercials that take a humorous approach, mostly because the audience seeing the pitches reacts well to that sort of execution.

“This is a very different approach for Toshiba,” said Maria Repole, associate VP-corporate communications at Toshiba America Consumer Products, who noted that many ads from technology marketers focus on “techs and specs.” Instead, she added, “by adding humor, we really felt the ads could also resonate with ESPN enthusiasts.”

As part of the package, Toshiba will sponsor a


Indebted Campaign

May 18, 2009 — 0

Our promos team made this great spot for our “Indebted” campaign. The project is a partnership with the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, aimed at arming young people with a better understanding of the fiscal crisis, how to protect themselves, and how to hold their elected representatives accountable for responsible spending.

We’ve been working with Pete Peterson, Dave Walker and the amazing Elizabeth Wilner (who just left to run ServiceNation). The team at mtvU is doing an incredible job on this campaign, from programming, online, on-ground events on college campuses, music (thank you, Asher Roth), research, press… Really proud of this.