Free-Range Burritos for PBS Lovers

According to Ad Age, “On the Road Again … Spain,” a new show from PBS starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Mario Batali, New York Times food critic Mark Bittman and Spanish actress/singer Claudia Bassols, will be sponsored by Chipotle Mexican Grill. The deal marks Chipolte’s maiden voyage into TV.
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Jim Adams, the chain’s exec VP-marketing, said it was important Chipotle’s sponsorship be more of an alignment of marketing messages than an effort to make any of the stars shill for the company. “We’ve been very careful not to do celebrity endorsements. We’ve been approached by a lot of sports figures, and we don’t want to put anything on one person. No one’s talking about Chipotle in this show, so it’s sort of a reverse on that.”
“On the Road Again” does, however, mark Chipotle’s first venture into TV advertising, a medium the brand has strategically avoided in favor of local-store marketing and user-generated ad contests on YouTube. “Most of our marketing is to spur on word-of-mouth, whether that means an outdoor board that prompts discussion or a radio ad you can sing along to,” Mr. Adams said. “We knew this show was a way for us to sort of dip our toe into TV. Even though it’s public television, it could possibly prepare us for future forays into more mainstream TV.”

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.