Chipotle Wraps You in Emotion

My career started in advertising, churning out sticky messages to folks like you about everything from cleaning supplies to Powerball tickets. I learned quickly that great ads (and great messages) appeal directly to our emotions.

Chipotle (and their ad agency) knows this, too. They’ve been receiving lots of press over the past few weeks for their latest long-format ad, The Scarecrow. It’s a beautifully animated, albeit haunting look at the food industry today.

Eerie, isn’t it? After watching that I feel a bit sad and hopeless. Sigh. I need some ice cream.

Chipotle’s Back to the Start ad from a couple years ago was so much more effective thanks to a sunnier outlook.  There was hope! I could go buy a burrito and save the world!

Emotion works. You’ve felt the instant power of anti-tobacco campaigns. You can’t help but watch them and feel upset, even angry. Meanwhile, Google goes straight for the heart with Dear Sophie. (I dare you to not consider opening a Gmail account for your kids after watching that clip.)

Could you find some more feeling in your messages? Here’s a cheat sheet for integrating emotion:

1.  Highlight something.

Are you trying to highlight the solution? If so, give a sense of the positive emotion surrounding the benefits.

Want your listener to feel the weight of the current problem and all it’s pain points? Lean on the negative.

2.  Use the full range.

Get outside the boxes of happiness or anger. There are so many subtle emotions you can appeal to: a sense of urgency, competition, pride, satisfaction, partnership, sportsmanship … the list goes on and on.

3.  Is there already emotion at play?

What does your subject and action mean to your audience? Is there already emotion at play for them? Or do you need to stir up some feeling to get them to care?

Ultimately, emotional appeals help our messages ‘stick’ with our audiences.  Don’t be afraid to “get emotional” in your next message.

What emotion has resonated with your audiences? Any tips to add to those above?


2 thoughts on “Chipotle Wraps You in Emotion
  1. Love the post. One of our major difficiencies as a financial services firm is to tether our messages to emotions. We, as a firm, are excellent at telling people what to care about and why to care (practical reasons to invest), but we don’t tie the messages in to what’s important to them.
    I’m presenting to a group of marketers next week and have the Chipotle video (among others) teed up as wonderful examples of emotional marketing. Great post!

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