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

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.  







Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *