Willie Nelson wows Grammy audience with UK-produced Chipotle ad

Putting your ad in the right place (in front of zillions of eyeballs) has always been the key to buying paid-for media and Chipotle appears to have scored mightily with its ‘Back to the Start’ ad featuring Willie Nelson (pictured) in the recent Grammy’s music awards show.

Tex-Mex chain Chipotle is running its first national campaign in the US, taking its advertising in-house but hiring UK animation studio Nexus and director Johnny Kelly to produce this opus, which has racked up over four million YouTube hits, assisted no end by the Grammy’s media buy.

Now, of course, Chipotle has to live up to its self-proclaimed status as a sustainable food champion, at a time when even huge companies like PepsiCo are having second thoughts about selling healthy stuff as opposed to popular stuff.

Is it a good ad? In America it is: 78 year-old, dope-smoking fan Willie Nelson is an American icon; he’s just landed a five-record deal with Sony and even Republicans thinks he’s as down home as mom and apple pie.

All the more credit then to Nexus and Johnny Kelly (pictured) for allowing the raddled old warbler to be the star of this accomplished commercial.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.