I looked at a newly-minted McDonald’s commercial this morning about dairy farmers. What a refreshing message—illustrated with photos and videos on the farm—about those men and women who put in the long hours and hard work to bring Americans the best and freshest dairy products in the world.
And then I thought back a few months ago to Chipotle’s “Scarecrow” advertisement, with its ‘beefy-like’ meat and cartoon characters who portray modern agriculture as dark and evil where huge corporations will do anything to make a buck.
It’s quite a study in contrasts in two distinct methods of marketing. And both, unfortunately, are very effective. I wonder if one is in direct response to the other.
I say unfortunately, in Chipotle’s case, because “Scarecrow” does a real hatchet job on modern agriculture. Their ‘food with integrity’ campaign is nothing but a gimmick, but apparently appeals to those who ride the ‘local’ wagon and repeat the mantra that organic is ‘better.’ Let me make clear, I have no problem with people who want to eat that way.
But Chipotle has lost at least one customer—me—because of their dishonest portrayal trying to make consumers feel bad about modern agriculture to feel good about Chipotle.
So is McDonald’s fighting back with a more honest look at the way food is grown in this country? Dairy farming isn’t as rosy and pretty as the scenes portrayed in the video, but this advertisement is much more genuine than Chipotle’s. The advertisement uses real dairy farmers who work long hours, are committed to producing a quality product and dedicated to this way of life. That sounds like the dairy farmers I know.
It looks like McDonald’s is hitching their star to agriculture’s wagon and wants America to come along for the ride.
They get my vote. Quarter-pounder with cheese and a vanilla shake for lunch, please.