Chipotle proves success of subtle advertising
Published September 17, 2013 at 10:27 pm
How direct does direct marketing need to be?
The answer is, not very, at least if Chipotle’s latest approach is any indication.
The Mexican-style restaurant chain has underscored its devotion to natural ingredients—including its meats—for some time. However, the company just released a short video that doesn’t state the business name until the very end.
With Fiona Apple crooning a cover of “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, viewers follow the journey of a scarecrow who seemingly develops a conscience. The scarecrow is producing foods in a factory and decides that he would rather make foods that have been grown naturally.
Additionally, the video promotes a mobile app game, where customers can play and then receive a free burrito.
“It’s a lesson in subtle but powerful marketing—create something that gives your customers a strong emotional connection to your brand that they will want to share and will spark a conversation, all without making them feel they are trying to be sold something,” explained a contribution piece in Entrepreneur Magazine.
Businesses of all sizes can consider this approach when trying to develop a strong direct marketing program. The important thing to remember is that customers need to understand what a company’s brand is and what it represents.
In Chipotle’s case, it has already been established that the organization values naturally grown ingredients and fresh meats. A more subtle advertising approach could be enough to trigger that connection in consumers’ minds.
This is not to say that smaller firms will not find success, just that a well-rounded marketing approach will yield the greatest amount of return.