Chipotle Mexican Grill has launched a trailer for its four-part television series coming out in February. Branded as a satirical comedy, the series is an interesting (and extremely controversial) attempt at Hollywood-style advertising, boasting a scripted plot and professional directing.
The show is a negative campaign aimed at conventional farming practices and revolves around the petroleum-based, “PetroPellet,” produced by “Animoil” to help producers maximize profitability — that’s all they’re interested in, right?
The satire crosses the line, not in its ludicrous ideas (yeah, a cow explodes after eating the pellets at the start of the series), but in the way it presents itself online. Besides having a website devoted to the show, “Farmed and Dangerous,” there also happens to be a website copyrighted by “Animoil Global,” which defines “PetroPellets” as a “high-efficiency, low-cost livestock nutrition system from Animoil Global.”
Developing a satirical website that is only indirectly identified as such is a dangerous proposition, begging for reference and misunderstanding
“Derived from all-natural petroleum,” the website reads, “PetroPellet® products deliver the caloric requirements your livestock need at a price you will love. By ignoring unnecessary distractions like taste, texture, and effect on temperament, we have devoted every ounce of PetroPellet®products to delivering vital caloric energy to your valued meat-generating assets.”
Developing a satirical website that is only indirectly identified as such is a dangerous proposition, begging for reference and misunderstanding. Whether such consequences are the fault of an overconfident developer or an ignorant viewer is hardly worthy of debate. We’re all fools.
Still, there’s nothing like the hypocrisy of criticizing an industry for profit-motivated decisions by way of an advertising campaign. And at $250,000/episode (according to the New York Times), the move isn’t slight, as Chipotle continues its mudslinging quest for attention.
If you cannot view the embedded video, click here.