Chipotle: The Savior Essay

1652 words - 7 pages

Chipotle’s “Back to the Start” advertisement captures the sentiments of the audience by depicting Chipotle’s competitors’ practices as unethical. In both “Back to the Start” and the “Scarecrow” advertisements, Chipotle attempts to align itself with society’s growing belief that humane agriculture is better. Chipotle’s advertisements present their practices to be ethical, which sets its products apart from its competition. However, Chipotle’s message employs the same sentimental appeals and logical fallacies that are effective in their competitors’ advertisements.

The “Back to the Start” advertisement depicts the life of a farmer as he converts his farm into an industrialized animal factory. The scene opens in darkness and transitions to dawn as a bird begins to sing, thus setting a tranquil mood and causing the viewer to appreciate the Earth’s beauty. These emotions are further captured with a view of a broad fertile landscape in the backdrop. This is an example of how advertisers combine a positive emotion with their product, so we seek it. Fast food enterprises are skilled at connecting with viewers on a deeper level, evoking such emotions as happiness and sadness.

McDonald's is one of the leading advertisers that uses emotional appeals. Their emotional appeals allow them to entice customers to buy their product. In order for McDonald's to do this, they must be precise with their advertising and understand how the target market of an advertisement thinks. Jack Solomon a semiotician, expert analyst of popular culture, and author of the Signs of Our Times, has written extensively on advertiser’s use of subconscious manipulation. Solomon noted that McDonald’s pitches its product to a multitude of groups, especially youth.

For children, there is the Ronald McDonald campaign, which presents a fantasy world that has little to do with hamburgers in any rational sense but a great deal to do with the emotional desires of kids. Ronald McDonald and his friends are signs that recall the Muppets, "Sesame Street," the circus, toys, storybook Illustrations, even Alice in Wonderland. Such signs do not signify hamburgers. Rather, they are displayed in order to prompt in the child's mind an automatic association of fantasy, fun, and McDonald's.

In recent advertisements, Chipotle emulates the Ronald McDonald Campaign, by the appearance of the characters and scenery as something from a children’s book. This sentimental appeal seeks to connect the audience to their childhood, recalling a time in which all was right with the world. Specifically in Chipotle’s “Scarecrow” advertisement, Chipotle associates a children’s character with their product.

The scarecrow works at an industrialized farming enterprise under the control of mechanized crows. In modern society, the scarecrow is perceived as a guardian defending the garden against crows. Though now the crows, the destroyers of food, are in charge of food production. While the scarecrows, the protectors of food,...

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