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Monday, February 20, 2012

Strategic CSR - Chipotle

The article in the url below discusses the background to Chipotle’s first national ad campaign. The ad has been running online and in movie theaters for several months and aired on TV for the first time during last weekend’s Grammy’s broadcast in the U.S.:

When Chipotle Mexican Grill, the fast-food marketer, began thinking about ways to promote improvements to the country’s food supply, it decided to skip the graphic photos of jampacked chicken coops and other unsettling farm practices. Instead, Chipotle took a more upbeat approach, creating an animated film with puppets to show a family farmer switching first to factory farming, then back to the sustainable approach of turning animals out to pasture.

Although Chipotle has had a mixed record in the press recently (see:, I like the ad because of its positive message on an issue (food health and safety) that still doesn’t get as much as attention as it should:

Chipotle … devised its marketing approach based on its own research, which it said showed that 75 percent of its 800,000 daily customers came for the taste, value and convenience of its food. Those are positive reasons, but expected for any food franchise that wants to be successful. So to get customers more passionately involved, the company decided it “needed to have a general, higher-level message and to tell the story in a more approachable way,” said Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle’s chief marketing officer. … Chipotle believed it had the right message already in its emphasis on more natural food. The company had shifted to more naturally grown produce and to beef, pork and chicken produced without antibiotics. It then set a goal of trying to make its customers more aware of sustainable ways to farm.

The music (a Willie Nelson cover of the Coldplay song, The Scientist) is pretty good, too!