Chipotle rolls out game app, film focused on sustainable food

Chipotle rolls out game app, film focused on sustainable food

Chain aims to boost brand positioning with “The Scarecrow”

Continuing its positioning as an alternative to restaurants that use processed foods, Chipotle Mexican Grill launched on Thursday an arcade-style adventure game, another animated short film and a website to host them.

“The Scarecrow” game, a free app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and the online video of the same name “depict a scarecrow’s journey to bring wholesome food back to the people by providing an alternative to the processed food that dominates his world,” the company said. The film can be viewed at

Two years ago, Chipotle debuted a short animated film, “Back to the Start,” about a fictional farmer’s choice to move away from industrial production toward more sustainable methods. The two-minute film was shown in movie theaters prior to feature films as part of the fast-casual chain’s ongoing “Food With Integrity” campaign.

“The more people learn about where their food comes from and how it is prepared, the more likely they are to seek out high-quality, classically prepared food like we serve in our restaurants,” said Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle’s chief marketing officer.

He added that the company created “The Scarecrow” game and film to help people “better understand the difference between processed food and the real thing.”

The game challenges players, while being menaced by Crowbots, to transport confined animals to open pastures, plant fields with diverse crops and serve minimally processed food to animated customers.

The mobile app also provides incentives for players to complete all levels of the game. Chipotle is providing food rewards redeemable at any of its more than 1,500 U.S., Canada and United Kingdom locations. The rewards are distributed electronically to players who earn at least three stars out of five in each world and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Similar to the video game, “The Scarecrow” film is set in a dark, dystopian fantasy world and is set to a haunting remake by musician Fiona Apple of the song “Pure Imagination” from the 1971 film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”

The song is available for download at the iTunes Store. Proceeds from the 60-cent download will benefit the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, which supports sustainable agriculture, family farming and culinary education.

The game and the film were created in partnership with Moonbot Studios and CAA Marketing, a division of the Creative Artists Agency. Brandon Oldenburg, creative partner at Moonbot Studios, said, “At Moonbot, we must have meaning in what we create. ‘The Scarecrow’ story has it: imagination, heart and a sense of play.”

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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