Chipotle Mexican Grill has introduced new marketing programs that include advertising, a revamped website, and new packaging aimed at better communicating its commitment to Food with Integrity and elevating the profile of the chef at its helm. The integrated campaign materials are now in Chipotle markets nationwide.
“We think the time is right to focus more of our marketing on our commitment to finding the best sustainably raised ingredients we can. While we have never sourced these ingredients to be a marketing platform, it is what makes Chipotle so different from other restaurant companies and we think people are more receptive to hearing it now than ever before,” said Mark Crumpacker, chief marketing officer of Chipotle. “The more people [who] know about the lengths we go to to source the best ingredients, the more likely they are to become loyal customers, particularly with a growing number of people interested in knowing the source of their food.”
The ads in the new campaign call attention to Chipotle’s use of premium quality ingredients from more sustainable sources and demonstrate the company’s commitment to providing food that tastes good and is better for its customers. By calling out norms in fast food advertising and promptly violating them, the campaign speaks to how Chipotle is shirking traditional fast food advertising because it bucks traditional fast food wisdom. The radio spots, for example, deconstruct typical fast-food advertising and explain that “we skip conventions of fast food radio because we skip conventions of fast food.”
Beyond the advertising, Chipotle has revamped its website and packaging to better align its focus on communicating its Food with Integrity vision. The website is designed to provide practical information and tools that customers expect (including restaurant locations, menu, general company information, and online ordering capabilities) while also helping Chipotle better talk about its vision. Several sections of the site give users the opportunity to go “under the foil” to learn more about its commitment to serving Food with Integrity, its accomplishments, and the thinking behind this unique philosophy.
To make better use of its packaging, Chipotle has incorporated a series of stories about the ingredients it uses and the lengths it goes to to source them. The new design style, called “passionate ramblings,” uses a hand-written lettering and an irreverent voice to talk about its commitment to sustainably raised ingredients in a way that is very personal and approachable. The new packaging also invites customers to submit their own Chipotle stories online, and may incorporate those into the packaging as well. The new look design is on a variety of packaging items, including drink cups, bags, and basket liners in all Chipotle restaurants.
Chipotle created the new advertising campaign internally and uses Minneapolis-based Compass Point Media for media planning and buying. The company worked with San Francisco-based Sequence on the new packaging system and website design.
Chipotle founder signs On for NBC reality series
In addition to its marketing efforts, Chipotle founder, chairman and co-CEO Steve Ells has signed on as an investor and judge for the upcoming NBC alternative competition series, “America’s Next Great Restaurant.” Ells, a classically trained chef, joins celebrity chef Bobby Flay and other notable chefs and restaurateurs on the show where aspiring restaurant owners compete for the opportunity to develop their own restaurant concept. Chipotle inked the deal for its founder and CEO to help elevate his position as an obsessive chef.
“Our customers love Chipotle for a variety of reasons, mostly because the food tastes so good,” Ells said. “We think this new marketing approach will encourage new customers to try Chipotle and strengthen our bond with existing customers who don’t necessarily know that Food with Integrity is such an important part of our business. Whether food issues are particularly important to you or not, I think this new marketing will resonate with people. If nothing else, customers may learn that we care deeply about the food we serve.”