Over the past week, much ink has been spilled over Chipotle's "Scarecrow" video, a well-aimed piece of viral marketing that has already amassed 5.7 million views on YouTube. In a narrative set to a goosebump-inducing Fiona Apple cover of "Pure Imagination," a scarecrow discovers the nightmarish world of factory farming and resolves to do his small part to encourage sustainable farming. The ad's production has been universally well-received; The Week's own Peter Weber calls it "the most beautiful, haunting infomercial you'll ever see."
But quality aside, not everyone is convinced of the intent behind the massive company's sudden detour into activism, which ends with a promotion for a Scarecrow-themed iPad app. And Funny or Die has produced a video parody, titled "Honest Scarecrow," that's sure to galvanize any viewers who doubt that Chipotle's motives are really as pure as the video implies.
"Come with us, and you'll be in a world of pure imagination / with an ad made for you by a giant corporation," croons a Fiona Apple sound-alike in the just-released parody video. "We'll begin; drop you in to a great high-budget animation / what you'll see will be pure manipulation."
Though the parody successfully skewers Chipotle's "Scarecrow" video, it's also a sign that the company's marketing campaign has penetrated the mainstream. Whichever side you're on, you're thinking and talking about Chipotle — so it's safe to say the company has hit its target.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
- What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth
- An open letter to #brands about Gamergate
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Did the media get Ferguson wrong?
- 'Having it all' has officially jumped the shark
- Painting the universe's portrait
- Did Republicans overshoot on the Ebola panic?
Subscribe to the Week