If you haven’t yet seen Chipotle’s Scarecrow extended ad video and companion video game, take three minutes and enjoy!

This is the most creative piece of marketing that I have seen in a long time – imaginative, elegant and effective in its almost haunting message. It features film-like animation set to the song “Pure Imagination” by Fiona Apple. (You may remember the song from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.) The piece tells the story of a world where scarecrows have lost their jobs protecting the fields where farmers grow natural food. Now, these dejected scarecrows work for the evil Crowbots, under the industrial Crow Foods regime in harsh factories.

The featured scarecrow cannot help but be saddened by food conditions as he witnesses cows crammed into crates and chickens filled with steroids. But soon the tone of the film brightens as the scarecrow finds a fresh red pepper, growing in a bleak spot of land where no other fresh food is found. He’s inspired to start cooking. Suddenly everything is magical again! The ad ends with the slogan above his new fresh food stand, “Cultivate a better world.”

chipotle-scarecrowI was personally so captivated by the video that I researched the Chipotle company. Entrepreneur and CEO Steve Ells’ story is equally inspiring. A former Art History and San Francisco Culinary Institute student, he opened a small burrito shop in Denver in 1993 backed by a modest family loan. He speaks of a commitment to food with integrity and of finding the very best ingredients raised with respect for the environment and the farmer. He has stood by his commitment and we all see the success.

How wonderful! All of this really speaks to me this month as I am reminded how important and how truly good you feel when you eat pure, fresh foods! I had the pleasure of attending a yoga retreat at Esalen in Big Sur a few weeks ago and I came back truly energized and renewed! The yoga, the people and the food (all grown in their expansive gardens or raised locally) were exceptional. I can tell you that I honestly had such an increase in energy by eating such fresh foods. Do you notice how much more flavorful, satisfying and interesting real foods are? Driving back that last day on Highway 5, I was lamenting that there would be no decent food, but alas…I came upon a Chipotle at the base of the Grapevine and had the perfect meal to ease back from retreat mode.

This “real food” theme keeps coming up – how terrific! I understand that the Yorba Linda Public Library is doing a “seed sharing program”. Take advantage! What better than enjoying your own veggies. As another great marketer says, just do it!

Rozanne Englehart