Video Marketing

Business Animation So Good it Bummed Me Out

Shawn 01.07.2014

Two business animations took a different approach to fast food marketing in 2013.

They bummed us out.

Grill’d’s “Inside the Grass Diet Craze” and, and Chipotle’s “The Scarecrow,” shook consumers out of their fast food coma with arresting animation, eerie themes, and a powerful unasked question – do you really know where your fast food comes from?

Both campaigns take a stance on providing organic, natural ingredients – “burgers made good” and “food with integrity”, respectively – but the methods employed in the videos are resoundingly different.

Chipotle’s “The Scarecrow” is longer, a three-minute “film,” complete with Fiona Apple reprising the timeless “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka. In it a scarecrow food plant worker disillusioned by mechanized food production harvests veggies in his own garden, then prepares fresh, natural food for curious citizens looking for something different. The theme of monopolized, unregulated food production is haunting, but the message is clear and elegant – you can know where your food comes from and choose to eat differently. Over 11 million people have already seen it since its launch in September.

Cut to Australian burger chain, Grill’d. Their latest ad offering, via notoriously shocking VICE, features an infomercial in which farm animals make the switch from grain to “the grass-fed diet.” Animals shown using this amazing new product (grass) and enjoying space to roam instead of crowded enclosures claim it makes, “Your edible flesh leaner, healthier, and high in Omega-3.” The twisted animation, a la John Kricfalusi’s “Ren & Stimpy,” complete with animals purposely making themselves tastier for slaughter is disconcerting, to say the least. However, the twist ending – the beheading of a bull who converted to the grass-fed diet – might be too much for some viewers.

While these ads won’t perform well in every market – and were never intended to – the jarring combination of Nickelodeon-style animation with a serious issues (not to mention a graphic twist ending in Grill’d’s case) are sure to give these fast food chains plenty of attention.


Born in Southern California, Shawn grew up surfing, eating In-N-Out, and growing his hair long. After graduating with a Liberal Arts degree from CSU Long Beach in 2005 he left the crowded freeways behind and spent the better part of a decade traveling the world living for stretches in Rome, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, and Brooklyn. He writes novels as well as copy, loves learning keyboard shortcuts, and plays his grandpa’s old lap steel guitar. You can hear his band at

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