Okay, so I’m sure by now everyone on earth has seen the new Chipotle ad/explainer video, or whatever the hip kids are calling it these days. It’s awesome, right? Right. (If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it now. I’ll wait.)
I’d love to walk you through all the intricacies of what makes it so amazingly good, but there’s only one thing you need to know. It’s the story. Not the facts, or the timeline, it’s definitely irrelevant that he’s a scarecrow, and it’s only kinda matters that we’re talking about food. So what’s left to make it a story?
Aside from the music (we’ll get to that in a sec), it’s the emotion. When we tell stories we use the trivial details to convey emotion. In this case, it’s hope. Chipotle is selling hope and somehow I feel like the market for hope is slightly larger than the market for Tex-Mex, health conscious fast-food.
But since we’re the music guys (and you could write a book, or 7 billion, on branding) I’ve gotta focus on the tune that they picked for this in relation to their branding. Even if it’s been a while since you’ve seen Willy Wonka, you recognize the music. It’s twisted and dark but it comes from a place of familiarity so it’s okay. One of the cool things in the first half of the video is just how depressing the lyrics sound even though the words are positive. We’re clearly in a dystopian world.
But wait! Scarecrow gets off the bus, and something changes! We’re modulating all over the place, we’re going faster, the colors are vibrant! We have the visual cues matching the auditory. All the low, scary sounds are gone, and we have high strings in the background. Visually, it’s some sort of montage (cause everyone needs a montage). Boom! That’s how you know that Chipotle is the answer to all of your problems. The changes happen with the lyrics ‘You’ll be free if you truly wish to be’ as Scarecrow pulls the pepper off the bush. Sometimes it’s really important to have great voiceover but sometimes it’s more powerful to let the music speak directly to your emotions.
What You Really Need to Know
To simplify all of the amazing things going on, we start out with sad music that becomes happy music. But most importantly it reinforces the branding by showing how there is hope in a certain method of farming. Music is amazing in that it bypasses the rational mind and hits viewers with emotion, there aren’t translation issues (brain chemistry is wicked cool). Check out the old iPhone 5 commercial.
The music is ridiculously simple so we assume that the iPhone must be simple and easy to use (and it is!). Everything needs to reinforce the branding, the music is an incredibly powerful tool.