Emerging Thought Leaders: Alexandria Harris


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Guest Post: The Successful Scarecrow Approach Might Scare Others

A classmate highlighted the recent Chipotle campaign some time ago, which encouraged me to look more into the brands initiative – I researched it, and the first thing to come up in my search results was an article by Alexandria Bruell that highlighted that the Entertainment group Creative Artists Agency won the PR Grand Priz for the “The Scarecrow!”

This is a prime example of Integrated Marketing at it’s best (in my opinion). That is, according to the article, the campaign launched first on YouTube with no paid media for the four weeks. It was then followed by a placement in a national newspaper and a social and PR push, as well as the launch of an interactive game and a mobile coupon designed to drive consumers to Chipotle restaurants.

Renee Wilson, PR jury president for Cannes Lions and chief client officer at Publicis Groupe’s MSLGroup explained that the campaign won because, “It was the storytelling. The work was stellar. It was designed to really engage consumers in an emotional way on the Chipotle journey to creating a sustainable future.”

This is a video that tells a simple story, but has no actors, no animals, and even the brand name only makes an appearance during the final seconds of the ad. Needless to mention, the company hasn’t spent any funds on advertising the commercial on television (which is usually a popular platform to use for a big campaign). However, as mentioned in a class lesson, “The most effective videos and short films are based around a story that dictates the willingness of others to share and to engage with longer content. Typically, the most viral content involves something ‘cool,’ a funny parody or a celebrity.” My favorite aspect of this campaign is that it benefits a cause, more than the brand. This approach separates the company from the clutter of their competitor’s ads, and proves that the brand values and wants to influence mainstream food production methods and eating habits – which matches their vision and message.


Source: CAA wins PR grand prix for Chipotle’s ‘the scarecrow” 

What say you?