The uncommon agency for the common good

When is an Ad not an Ad?

Sep 17, 2013 | by Avi Brand | Civilian Water Cooler

I hadn’t had a Chipotle burrito in months. I hadn’t even thought of having a Chipotle burrito in months. I have nothing against Chipotle. In fact, I used to eat at Chipotle all the time. But there isn’t a Chipotle right next to my work or home, and frankly, I’d gotten a little sick of it. But this past Saturday morning I woke up needing a Chipotle. NEEDING it. I started the subliminal propaganda campaign on my wife at breakfast (“Honey, did you know that Chipotle is no longer owned by McDonald’s?”), and by dinnertime she asked me if I wanted to go grab us some Chipotle. Check and mate.

I was on my way to the University Ave. Chipotle, my wife’s order written down. As I drove I pondered all the different combinations of meat, rice, beans, and vegetables Chipotle offers. Every individualized creation dancing tantalizingly in my mind’s eye. After a brief detour to receive a traffic ticket from a friendly member of the SDPD, I resumed my journey toward that special, wonderful, familiar franchise that welcomed me home as it would an old friend. A foolish old friend who had stayed away too long, and was hungry to get reacquainted. Positively salivating to get reacquainted.

Why had I woken up wanting Chipotle so bad? NEEDING it so bad. Well, the answer is quite simple. I watched this on Facebook right before falling asleep: It’s a commercial for Chipotle . . . sort of. It’s actually more a piece of distopyian science fiction art, thematically organized around Chipotle’s core values, and tapping into the cultural zeitgeist. It also barely mentions Chipotle. The corporate logo flashes for barely a second at the very end. It doesn’t beat you over the head, and or even really try to sell you anything. It worked like a freaking charm. I think Chipotle is on to something here.

(Note: Yes, I did mean to say “Chipotle” that many times. Subliminal “Chipotle” messaging. And no, I’m not sponsored by Chipotle, but I wish I was.”)

Avi Brand
Proposal Writer
Mood: Chicken, with white rice with pinto beans!

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