Don’t Blame the Messenger
For just one blog post (just like that one, occasional vanilla shake on a long road trip), I’m going to forget how much I hate McDonalds. Why? Their slightly less evil, slightly less fat-promoting subsidiary, Chipotle, has one of the best direct-marketing pieces I’ve ever seen.
The simple black-and-white accordion-fold postcard asks the viewer:
TIRED OF FREE BURRITOS?
Then there’s a picture of a burrito. Right below that, in a smaller font, it says:
We’re not either.
Clever, simple, fun. And flawless in its appeal because, come on, who is tired of free burritos?
The decision to show the burrito in its foil wrapping was just as smart as the copy. We can imagine within whatever sort of burrito we want, and the foil makes us think it’s piping hot and all melty-delicious. Plus, it looks like a little gift, which, I suspect is exactly what they want you to think of, since, hey: It’s a FREE burrito.
When it had lingered in our office for a few days, I said to Dan, “Is this here because you want to blog about it?” To which he replied, “No, it’s here because I want a free burrito.”
Have to say, I enjoy Chipotle’s marketing materials, too. They had these ads that were a little wordier, but spelled out messages in darker font, like “Chipotle tastes delicious.” That one was actually covered in the NYT as part of the broader trend of poking fun at advertising in your ads. The irony is that while the ad claims that their ad agency wanted them to be more direct, Chipotle actually develops all their ads in-house!
That’s really interesting, Susan: The trend of poking fun of advertising … as advertising. Very … meta. I’d forgotten about those billboards, but I remember loving them when I first saw them go up.
McDonald’s divested Chipotle, it’s now its own entity