Chipotle gilds its media plan

The US-based burrito chain begins a four-month campaign aimed at educating customers on its ingredients.

Restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill is hoping burritos wrapped in gold will serve to remind the public of its commitment to locally sourced and naturally raised ingredients. The tricked-out foil is at the centre of a four-month marketing push that involves radio, print, online and out-of-home.

Minneapolis-based Compass Point Media handled the campaign’s media planning and strategy, and the creative was developed in-house. Designed to educate a broad audience about the brand’s ‘Food with Integrity’ mandate, it began rolling out on March 1 in major US markets and Toronto, home to Chipotle’s only Canadian locations.

The campaign’s slogan is, ‘We’re serving gold ingredients for an unlimited time only.’

‘[Food with Integrity] is not necessarily something that all our customers are all that familiar with,’ Chris Arnold, director of communications at Chipotle’s Denver office, tells MiC. ‘We have some who are and others who are learning about that commitment. As issues in food become more front and centre in the minds of consumers, we’ve really started to talk more about the ingredients we use and why we use them.’

Gold-wrapped burritos will replace the silver burrito icon usually featured in the 18-year-old brand’s advertising. The campaign also includes subway posters in Toronto, a text code promotion, an online contest that customers can enter to win $10,000 cash and 24-karat solid-gold coins and a promotional newspaper distributed in-store called The Gold Burrito Digest.

‘The [newspaper's] tone is both educational and interactive,’ says Arnold. ‘It has some lighter content like horoscopes, jumble puzzles and infographics that deconstruct the Chipotle burrito and speak to where the ingredients come from. It also has longer stories that speak to our food philosophy and why we think it’s important.’

The text-code promotion is a first for the company. Restaurants will feature a new menu panel with the code ‘text GOLD to 888222′ to receive more info about the ‘Food With Integrity’ principles and the ingredients’ sources.