Chipotle Mexican Grill’s latest green marketing effort is “Farmed and Dangerous,” a comedy series that the fast food chain says “satirically explores the world of industrial agriculture in America.”
The show aims to showcase the company’s sustainable agriculture cred — without explicit Chipotle branding, according to the company — by telling the story of PetroPellet, a 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 into damage-control mode.
The four-episode season will air weekly on Hulu and Hulu Plus, beginning Feb. 17.
“Farmed and Dangerous” comes on the heels Chipotle’s 2013 short film “Scarecrow,” depicting a dystopia, factory-farm-focused future also intended to bring attention to the company’s sustainable food sourcing policies. It has since been viewed almost 12 million times on YouTube.
Despite Chipotle’s green marketing success, many marketeers routinely ignore sustainability as an advertising angle, according to Rainforest Alliance president Tensie Whelan.
Whelan says marketers ignore sustainability at their own peril. A typical argument made by marketing professionals is that surveys show that only around 10 percent to 15 percent of consumers actively seek out sustainable products. Instead, Whelan writes that marketers’ job is to make consumers want a product they think they don’t — and sustainability should not be any different.