Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) and CAA Marketing, a division of Creative Artists Agency (CAA), have been awarded the 2012 GRANDY Award for the animated short film “Back to the Start” at the annual International ANDY Awards. In addition to the prestige of being named the best piece of creative work this year, the GRANDY Award comes with a $50,000 prize that Chipotle and CAA Marketing will donate to the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation.
“Back to the Start” 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’s subject matter is enhanced by a Willie Nelson cover of Coldplay’s song, “The Scientist.” “Back to the Start” was developed by Chipotle, in partnership with CAA Marketing and London-based director Johnny Kelly. It first appeared online in August 2011, ran on 10,000 movie theater screens through the fall, and aired during the 2012 GRAMMY Awards telecast.
“’Back to the Start’ was never intended to be an ad; it was meant to be a short film to invite people on a journey with us to a more sustainable future,” said Mark Crumpacker, chief marketing officer at Chipotle. “Since we have a great story to tell, our challenge is to tell it in the most compelling way possible, and we have found that less traditional forms of advertising are a better way to do that. CAA and Johnny helped us create something that tells our story in a meaningful way and that is really resonating with people.”
“A pioneer in their industry, Chipotle has always done things differently and their marketing follows the same approach,” said Jesse Coulter, Co-Chief Creative Officer at CAA Marketing. “To receive such a prestigious award from advertising’s creative community is a testament to Chipotle’s innovative approach to brand storytelling.”
Celebrating its 48th year, the International ANDY Awards are one of the most coveted and respected advertising award shows in the world. With the objective to seek out, encourage, and recognize excellence in advertising, entries from around the world in all types of media are encouraged for submission. A jury of renowned advertising professionals is selected each year to review hundreds of submissions and select only one to receive the GRANDY.
Chipotle and CAA Marketing are donating the $50,000 prize to the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, a foundation established by Chipotle in 2011 to extend its commitment to creating a more sustainable future. The foundation grants awards to organizations and individuals who support family farms and their communities, ranchers who are working to develop more sustainable practices, and educators and programs that teach younger generations about food matters.
A division of Creative Artists Agency (CAA), CAA Marketing is comprised of a team of professional marketing strategists and creative executives who work with colleagues across CAA to offer corporate clients innovative marketing initiatives, unique access to entertainment and media’s key decision-makers, early insight into popular culture and consumer trends, and relationships with the world’s most creative and successful artists. CAA is the world’s leading entertainment and sports agency, representing many of the most successful professionals working in film, television, music, video games, theatre, fashion, and the Internet, and provides a range of strategic marketing and consulting services to corporate clients. CAA is also a leader in sports, representing more than 700 of the world’s top athletes in football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, tennis, and golf, and works in the areas of broadcast rights, corporate marketing initiatives, licensing, and sports properties for sales/sponsorship opportunities. In addition, The Intelligence Group, a market research and trend forecasting company, is a division of CAA.
Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, started Chipotle with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience. Today, Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that—where possible—are sustainably grown and naturally raised with respect for the animals, the land, and the farmers who produce the food. A similarly focused people culture, with an emphasis on identifying and empowering top performing employees, enables us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and currently operates more than 1,225 restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.