2014 Platinum PR Awards: Word of Mouth/Viral Campaign

Winner: Chipotle and Edelman - The Scarecrow

Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, started Chipotle with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience. Through their “Food With Integrity” philosophy, the company is dedicated to serving the very best ingredients, raised with respect for the animals, environment and farmers.

Chipotle’s unique marketing initiatives aim to draw attention to food issues while engaging consumers about these complex concepts in an entertaining, memorable and shareable way. Enter “The Scarecrow,” a beautifully animated mobile game with companion YouTube film about a disenchanted industrial food factory worker trying to improve the food system in his dystopic, over-processed world. The film, featuring a cover of “Pure Imagination” by singer Fiona Apple, acted as a companion piece to the game and was produced in partnership with the Academy Award® winning Moonbot Studios, who utilized both traditional animation and state of the art 3-D technology to leave an unforgettable impression.

The game and film sparked a media storm, resulting in diverse coverage across marketing, business, entertainment, agriculture and sustainability outlets. Users downloaded the game 600,000 times, and the video currently has over 13 million views on YouTube. “The Scarecrow” sparked op-ed pieces in The New Yorker, Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, and Salon, featured educated arguments about food issues by influential farmers, sustainability advocates and consumers. To date, “The Scarecrow” has garnered over 614 million+ media impressions across over 280 outlets, contributing to $9.5 million in ad equivalency from the company’s marketing activities in September-November 2013.

Honorable Mentions:

  • American Greetings - World's Toughest Job
  • H+M Communications - DESPICABLE ME 2: From Runaway Success to Blockbuster Franchise
  • Weber Shandwick on behalf of Mattel - Barbie #Unapologetic