Chipotle Mexican Grill’s (NYSE: CMG) animated short film “Back to the Start” will air in full as a commercial during the GRAMMY Awards Sunday, February 12, 2012 on CBS. This is the first time Chipotle will run a national television advertisement since the burrito chain’s inception in 1993. The two-minute film became a YouTube hit when it was released late in 2011, and has appeared in movie theaters nationwide before feature films.
Chipotle will air its "Back to the Start" animated short film during Sunday's broadcast of the GRAMMY Awards on CBS. (Photo: Business Wire)
The film — a first for Chipotle — will be the longest commercial to run during the GRAMMY Awards in recent history and is the first time Chipotle has aired an ad on national television. Directed by London-based Johnny Kelly, the stop motion animated film depicts a farmer whose family farm has slowly evolved into a factory. In a moment of self-reflection, the farmer realizes that he must go “back to the start” and transition away from factory conditions and towards more sustainable farming methods. The film is set to a soundtrack that features a cover of Coldplay’s GRAMMY Award-nominated song “The Scientist” (nominated for Best Music Video, Short Form in 2004) sung by 10-time GRAMMY Award-winner Willie Nelson. “We are changing the way people think about and eat fast food,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle. “We have always understood the importance of serving food that is raised right, but that is a difficult thing to communicate with the limitations of traditional advertising. ‘Back to the Start’ tells the story of a farmer’s journey from traditional farming to an industrial food production model, then back to his roots of traditional farming again – a story that tracks closely with some of our suppliers and that demonstrates why we think it is so important to serve food made with ingredients from more sustainable sources.”