Remember that depressing animated Chipotle commercial a few months ago, scored by Fiona Apple? It now has more than 11 million views, and was allegedly a promo for their new app, but it felt like the company was prepping for something bigger. Today, that something bigger was announced: Chipotle is launching a Hulu series.
On Feb. 17, the restaurant chain debuts the first of four episodes of Farmed and Dangerous, an original comedy series about the industrial agriculture business. Doesn’t seem like that’d be too funny, right? According to Chipotle’s Mark Crumpacker, the show will address “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.“
It stars Ray Wise (Twin Peaks’s maniacal Leland Palmer) as an employee of the Industrial Food Image Bureau, investigating a shadowy company called Animoil, and the mysterious case of an exploding cow, the secret video of which has been leaked onto the Internet.
Hulu’s Bryan Thoensen told the New York Times that this synergy between entertainment and advertising is a new frontier of “brands as studios,” and the creators are attempting to make a brand relatable through 30 minutes of narrative and emotion. By plotting the investigation of these inhumane practices as satire, Chipotle is hoping to start a dialogue about these issues.
And, of course, having the Ray Wise star in a comedy about exploding cows doesn’t hurt.
Screengrab via farmedanddangerous/YouTube