Industry News | February 17, 2014

Chipotle's Original Series Debuts on Hulu

Chipotle Mexican Grill debuted its original comedy series, “Farmed and Dangerous,” on Hulu and Hulu Plus. The four-episode series marks Chipotle’s first foray into long-format, unbranded content. Produced in conjunction with Piro, a New York—based studio, the series stars Ray Wise (“24,” “Mad Men,” “Twin Peaks”) and Eric Pierpoint (“Parks and Recreation,” “Big Love”), and provides a satirical look at the lengths the agriculture industry goes to manage perceptions about its practices.

“Our goal in making the show was to engage people through entertainment and make them more curious about their food and where it comes from,” says Mark Crumpacker, chief marketing and development officer at Chipotle and an executive producer of the show. “It’s not a show about Chipotle, but rather integrates the values that are at the heart of our business. The more people know about how food is raised, the more likely they will be to choose food made from better ingredients—like the food we serve at Chipotle.”

Called a “smart comedy” by NBC News and “smart and wickedly funny” by Fortune, the first episode is available now for viewing on Hulu, free of charge, and Hulu Plus, with subsequent episodes to be made available Monday, February 24, March 3, and March 10.

“Every brand has their own unique story. Our job is to uncover it and then find the perfect vehicle in which to express it,” says Daniel Rosenberg, a partner at Piro and an executive producer of “Farmed and Dangerous.”

“Farmed and Dangerous” satirizes the lengths to which corporate agribusiness and its image-makers go to create a positive image of industrial agriculture. The first season focuses on the introduction of PetroPellet, a new petroleum-based animal feed created by fictional industrial giant Animoil. PetroPellet promises to reduce industrial agriculture’s dependence on oil by eliminating the need to grow, irrigate, fertilize, and transport the vast amount of feed needed to raise livestock on factory farms. Before its new feed formula can forever reshape industrial agriculture, Animoil’s plans go awry when a revealing security video goes viral sending Animoil and their spin master, Buck Marshall (played by Wise) of the Industrial Food Image Bureau (IFIB), into damage control mode.

“Brands need to make a decision,” says Tim Piper, a partner at Piro and director of the series. “They can either continue to interrupt entertainment, or they can inspire it.”


News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.


Congrats Chipotle and Piro - on a great branded content effort.However, I don't think the decision brands have to make is whether to interrupt or inspire entertainment. The decision they have to make is whether they'll make the effort to tell great stories, and hire people with the right skills to collaborate with them on those. Interruption (read: TV) still connects if you don't waste people's time with forgettable (to borrow an agricultural term) "fertilizer" - which 95% of all TV advertising is these days.Problem is, the storytellers have all left advertising, or have been asked to leave, to make way for the digital "visionaries" who now run shops. Digital is just one color, one paint on the palette. Important, but not exclusionary. The plumbers have taken over for the poets, but it's really good to see the poets back at work in branded content, and long-form. Now it would be great to see agencies turn their attention back to great TV ad work. Five to ten years ago, the cry was, "We need people who understand digital!" Now it needs to be, "We need people who understand film."And the stories film tell.

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