Chipotle released a beautiful animated short to promote its first mobile game last week. The video features a scarecrow living in a world run by big food, and he, instead, works to bring change by offering more sustainable, more natural food.
The video is Chipotle’s second of its kind. The first featured a farmer working against big food. Chipotle has done a lot of work to promote sustainable food by building awareness and donating funds to the effort.
Funny or Die offered its own take on the Chipotle spot, pointing out that the video feigns authenticity and is little more than a moving ad meant to sell and simply promote a mobile app.
We’re Here to Sell
Everything a brand does is intended, directly or indirectly, to sell. Tom’s Shoes donates pairs of shoes to those in need, supports charitable organizations and creates jobs in impoverished countries that need them. Warby Parker donates a pair of glasses for every pair sold. These are noble efforts that are part of each company’s DNA, but at the end of the day, those causes are part of the brand experiences they deliver. The experiences they deliver keep customers coming back.
…But That’s Not All We Are
It’s important to know that causes like Tom’s Shoes and Warby Parker’s are not merely means to an end, selling. Their causes align with the values of the people behind the brands, and they feel authentic.
Chipotle’s video is an ad, but it communicates the company’s stance on a single issue. Yes, Chipotle is not perfect. It compromises where it deems necessary, but overall, it has a belief that it consistently stands for.
Consumers should critique brands and hold them accountable if they say one thing and behave differently, but the brands that are at least consistent in what they say and do are on the right track.
Stand for Something
Gen-Y is the largest demographic out there, and they’ve made it no secret that they value brands that take a stand. They’re more likely than other groups to look for things like sustainability, eco-friendly and even social progressiveness in brands they do business with. The brands that stand for something are poised to win. The brands that don’t, while playing it safe, are forgettable. Doing good makes business sense.