The Scarecrow: Free iOS Game and Burrito From Chipotle, Animation Trailer Featuring Fiona Apple
Surprisingly, Chipotle has released a video game (and short animation) entitled The Scarecrow. The trailer itself is incredibly well done, and is both dark and moving. Adding to the great graphics and cinematic quality, the background music is Fiona Apple singing a cover of World of Pure Imagination, from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
The trailer promotes a free iOS game, where you play as the main character… attempting to thwart the large food corporation known as Crow Foods. As an interesting tie-in, if you are able to get three stars on each of the four levels… you can earn a free burrito.
As well done as the animation and game are, it’s difficult to ignore that this is an out and out advertisement for Chipotle. As lovely as the graphics are, there’s still a weird disconnect in the back of my head where I know I’m being marketed to. Really great looking propaganda is still, at the end of the day, propaganda.
I was curious enough to download the game, and so far have only gotten through maybe 30% of it. The game mechanics rely exclusively on the device’s accelerometer, so you’re doing a lot of tilting to move the character from point A to point B. Tilt-based games are super annoying to me, so even with the promise of free food… I’m doubting I’ll play this all the way through.
It’s an impressive bit of PR/marketing, and with the quality of the animation coupled with the offers of both a free game and free food… I’ve no doubt they’ll be getting a lot of free media attention on this. It’s an incredibly well executed campaign, and I’m in awe of the scale and size of it.
But even so – it’s hard to ignore the animation for what it really is, at the end of the day: an advertisement.