The Ramblings of Annie Abalam

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I Am Skeptical About the Chipotle Commercial

on February 25, 2012

I read “The infamous Chipotle video: will it help get rid of gestation crates?” earlier this week.  I’m not sure when this video came out, but I swear I saw it before we came back for second semester.  The video is as heartwarming as can be, but as a daily Chipotle customer (when I’m at home – they know me by name and give me free burritos if I come more than once in a day, or if I look sad, or am wearing a provocative outfit) I am still unsure about how sincere Chipotle is.  In all of their franchises, they have the same ads up, stating that they get a vast majority of their meat from “happy” farms.  My standards for a “happy” farm are much higher than most, because I do not buy into the notion of “free range,” and most other labels.  As I have said many times before, I fear that Chipotle may be playing on these crafty, enticing labels.  Labels like those reduce – if not dismiss – customers’ guilt when they choose to plop a carcass onto their burrito.

As a large, successful company, I can only expect Chipotle to use advertising as a means of attracting customers.  I also believe that Chipotle might be setting what I would call a “faux example” for other companies to follow (I guess that would be mimetic isomorphism).  McDonald’s reacted very quickly once they saw the ad, and realized that they needed to hop on the Chipotle Wagon.  Naturally, this is too good to be true: McDonald’s did not put a date to when they would officially eliminate gestation crates.  Therefore, they could back out fairly easily.  Needless to say, I am not impressed with McDonald’s easy-way-out method of tricking customers into thinking that they will actually take interest in the welfare of the animals they demand to be slaughtered.  The real punchline for me is: McDonald’s used to have quite a bit of money in Chipotle, but pulled out in 2006.  McDonald’s move is like an older brother taking advice from his little brother.  Most older brothers do not stick with advice youngsters tell them.  I doubt McDonald’s will stick with Chipotle’s, and sometimes I wonder if Chipotle is even practicing what they preach.

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