Giant-burrito-peddling fast-food chain Chipotle, which eschews most advertising, appears to have settled, for the moment at least, on a content strategy: Wrapping up healthful, anti-industrial-farming propaganda in lightly branded music videos that pair big artists with unlikely songs. First, it commissioned a striking stop-motion spot with Willie Nelson’s rendition of yawn-rock outfit Coldplay’s song “The Scientist.”
Now, it’s out with an even less obvious pairing: Karen O, frontwoman of indie-art-punk band Yeah Yeah Yeahs, singing the pure country tune “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” which Nelson and Waylon Jennings helped make famous.
The feel of the second ad, and the song itself, are both darker than the first spot. The new video shows a handful of kids ransacking an abandoned family farm. The crisis of conscience is also more understated. One of the vandals ends up seeing the derelict abode, in a pseudo-epiphany, as a reflection of his own home. The old grandfather clock that topples with a crash and scares the boys is perhaps the ad’s clearest symbol.