Chipotle Mexican Grill announced plans to launch “Farmed and Dangerous,” a Chipotle original comedy series that satirically explores the world of industrial agriculture in America.
Produced by Chipotle and Piro, a New York-based studio known for its unique work in film and television, the initial four-episode season will be presented weekly on Hulu and Hulu Plus beginning Monday, Feb. 17, 2014.
The show integrates Chipotle’s values and commitment to serving food made with the highest quality ingredients through the content and themes of the show itself, without any explicit Chipotle branding.
“Farmed and Dangerous” satirizes the lengths to which corporate agribusiness and its image-makers go to create a positive image of industrial agriculture.
The first season focuses on the introduction of PetroPellet, a new petroleum-based animal feed created by fictional industrial giant Animoil. PetroPellet promises to reduce industrial agriculture’s dependence on oil by eliminating the need to grow, irrigate, fertilize and transport the vast amount of feed needed to raise livestock on factory farms.
Before its new feed formula can forever reshape industrial agriculture, Animoil’s plans go awry when a revealing security video goes viral sending Animoil and their spin master, Buck Marshall (Ray Wise – “Twin Peaks,” “Mad Men,” “24”) of the Industrial Food Image Bureau (IFIB), into damage control mode.
“Much of our marketing is aimed at making consumers more curious about where their food comes from and how it is prepared,” said Mark Crumpacker, chief marketing and development officer at Chipotle. “By making complex issues about food production more understandable — even entertaining — we are reaching people who have not typically been tuned into these types of issues.”
“Farmed and Dangerous” comes on the heels of two award-winning animated short films from Chipotle — 2013’s “Scarecrow” and 2011’s “Back to the Start” — both of which helped spark conversations about agriculture and industrial food production in entertaining ways. The initial season consists of four half-hour episodes, but the storyline is designed to be extended to additional seasons. The show stars Wise and Eric Pierpoint (“Parks and Recreation,” “Big Love”).
“Chipotle’s genuine mission to change the world of fast food is a great foundation for storytelling,” said Tim Piper, a partner at Piro and director of “Farmed and Dangerous.” “The characters and plot reflect Chipotle’s position on sustainable agriculture and enables Chipotle to communicate with more engagement than traditional advertising.”
Chipotle has a long-standing commitment to finding better, more sustainable sources for all of the ingredients it uses, including Responsibly Raised meats (from animals that are raised in a humane way and without the use of antibiotics or added hormones), local and organically grown produce, and dairy products from pasture-raised dairy cattle. The company has also taken on the issue of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food, becoming the first national restaurant company to voluntarily disclose the use of GMOs in its food, and the first to announce plans to eliminate GMOs from the ingredients it uses.
“We think of ‘Farmed and Dangerous’ as a values-integration rather than typical product-integration,” said Crumpacker. “The show addresses issues that we think are important — albeit in a satirical way — without being explicitly about Chipotle. This approach allows us to produce content that communicates our values and entertains people at the same time.“
Piro partner, executive producer and co-creator of the show, Daniel Rosenberg added, “We hope the show inspires other brands to communicate through more strategic and entertaining creative that is really representative of who they are, and what they are doing to make a better world.”
The pilot episode of “Farmed and Dangerous” will be available for free on Hulu.com and via the Hulu Plus subscription service starting Feb. 17, 2014. Each additional episode will become available on the consecutive Mondays.
“Farmed and Dangerous” stars Ray Wise (“Twin Peaks,” “Mad Men,” “24”), Eric Pierpoint (“Parks and Recreation,” “Big Love”), John Sloan (“The Glades,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “How I Met Your Mother”), and Karynn Moore (“Jane by Design,” “Water for Elephants”). Executive producers are Mark Crumpacker (chief marketing and development officer at Chipotle), William Espey (brand voice lead at Chipotle), Daniel Rosenberg (Piro partner, “Inside Man,” “Righteous Kill”), and Timothy Piper (“Dove Evolution,” “The Palace of Light”); the show was written by Rosenberg, Piper, Mike Dieffenbach (“Less Than Perfect,” “Retired at 35”), and Jeremy Pisker (Academy Award nominee for “Bullworth”); director is Timothy Piper.