Funny Or Die Serves Up An "Honest" Version of Chipotle's Scarecrow Ad

Chipotle's high-minded, high-budget animation screed against Big Agriculture got a lot of people talking last week, including some folks at Funny or Die, who were evidently unmoved.

Last week, Chipotle released an affecting animated ad about their commitment to righting the wrongs of Big Agriculture. "The Scarecrow" was a high-minded, high-budget affair that even included a video game about the adventures of its titular character, a proxy for Chipotle itself in the context of the ad. By the end of the week, it had racked up millions of YouTube hits and early speculation about Cannes awards.

Gentlemen, start your backlash!

While an essay in Salon recently decried the "vegetarian bait-and-switch" of Chipotle's ad—wherein a scarecrow witnesses the horrors of factory farming and starts selling cruelty-free wares—Funny or Die got their point across with a parody. Adopting a style similar to the Honest Trailers on YouTube, the video also includes a parody version of Fiona Apple's heartbreaking cover of "Pure Imagination" from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory", which scored Chipotle's original ad.

While the original ad plucked at viewer's heartstrings, Funny or Die's version helpfully points out how doing so may have been manipulative and hypocritical. "Look at that sad face and feel it," a caption reads as the saddest anthropomorphic scarecrow you've ever seen appears. By the time the scarecrow protagonist begins making what look like burritos and Funny or Die reminds us of the tenuousness of the company's "no Genetically Modified Organisms" promise, the backing song begins to take on a second meaning and suggest that Chipotle's claims are, themselves, the product of pure imagination.

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  • Cyrus

    Yeah so, I'm British so I have never encountered Chipotle until I saw the ad made it's rounds on the internet. It certainly is well made and effective and to me highlights the horrors of factory farming pretty well. Quickly after I watched the Funny or Die version, again very admirable in highlighting that ultimately Chipotle just want you to buy their stuff. There are a few points they are way off though...things I discovered with a modicum of research. Chipotle don't claim to be meat free...they just support Organic farming, so they get their meat from non factory farm sources, so Funny or Die pointing out the meat a little irrelevant.

    Without a doubt, Chipotle is a corporation, and ultimately they are out to make a buck, so don't get roped in by pretty ads. But I don't see any Hypocrisy here, they claim to use more organic meat and veg than any other restaurant chain...they are already doing more than most...I think they deserve a little slack. 

  • Michael P. Shipley

    The most shocking thing to me about the parody video is how much better the song is sung. Whoever composed it is much better than whoever did Chipotle's ad.

  • Kyle Kepley

    The original song is from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but the singer in the parody version had an even better voice than the one in the original (and the original wasn't bad either!). I've been trying to find out who the singer is, but no luck so far.