At a glance, Chipotle and CAA Marketing's award-winning animated commercial, "The Scarecrow," looks like a refurbished installment of Wallace and Grommit
: Its vivid, lo-fi color palate and Little Big World
-ish animation style lend it a childish innocence. Set to Fiona Apple's cover of "Pure Imagination" from the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
, there's a little Roald Dahl in there, too.
That innocence is almost immediately betrayed by heartbreaking images of farm animal abuse. While the titular scarecrow navigates his depressing, pre-fab world, he peeps behind a slipped slat of siding to find robot crows pumping a chicken full of growth hormones. While repairing a rooftop cow sculpture, he finds dairy cows, eyes pleading for freedom, stuffed inside.
The commercial ends on a softer note, with the scarecrow discovering the joys of ethically sourced foods and selling them to the delighted denizens of an otherwise ticky-tacky world.
CAA and Chipotle won two Grand Prix in 2012, and this ad won the same prize in the PR Lions contest June 16, but at 3:23, this is an ad better seen from your tablet or laptop screen than your television.