Chipotle chooses the right notes to scoop Film (and Branded Entertainment) Grand Prix at Cannes

Once upon a time ads had jingles then a few Brits, John Hegarty at BBH with ‘Heard it through the Grapevine’ for Levi’s being the most notable example, thought that was a bit old-fashioned and began choosing already out there music to give their ads more resonance.

Earlier in the week we noted that Chipotle, from Creative Artists Agency, was a good bet for the Cannes film Grand Prix, still the festival’s highlight, and, hey presto, so it proved to be. Why did we think so? Well it has a compelling message and the animation (from London’s Clapham Road Studios) and direction (by Johnny Kelly) are brilliant.

But it has by far and away the best tune; Willie Nelson groaning his way through Coldplay’s ‘The Scientist,’ or ‘Back to the Start’ as it will probably forever be known from now on.

We’ve seen and heard loads of high profile commercials recently (John Lewis in the UK being a case in point) based on cover versions of famous hits, often essaying what you might call cloying emotion. But if you want some CE then country & western is a good place to start, where Nelson (left) did, of course. But this is a great performance by a great artist.

Mind you, as one YouTube comment has it about this ‘sustainable farming’ epic for a fast food chain, they don’t show you what happens to the happy pigs.

Chipotle also won the first Branded Entertainment Grand Prix, presumably for some online films, as it did a Grammy. But this was a category that failed to fly, how do you compare online versions of ads with stabs at real dramas?

Commiserations in the Film category must go to the two other favourites, BETC Paris’s Canal Plus ‘ Bear’ (which did win the Film Craft Grand Prix) and BBH’s ‘Three Little Pigs,’ both of which won gold.

And also Saatchi’s Del Campo Saatchi which won a string of golds for its funny series for BGH Air Conditioners. Saatchi agencies dominated the golds, the network also won for its ‘World Down Syndrome Day’ and ‘Blood Relations’ charity efforts, which we’ve featured here.

But this year Chipotle got the balance between good works and filthy commerce right. Nobody said it was easy..

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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.