Typically, I don’t talk about television shows here, but this one intrigued me. Farmed and Dangerous Sponsored by Chipotle Mexican Grill seemed like it would be interesting. Chipotle Mexican Grill is known for its Food with Integrity movement focusing on organic ingredients. Farmed and Dangerous is interesting from both an agribusiness and a marketing perspective.
The show appears to be the standard good guys against bad guys’ paradigm, but as it relates to agribusiness. Buck is the CEO of Industrial Food Image Bureau (I.F.I.B.) a PR firm representing an agribusiness business company named Animoil. Animoil found a way to feed cattle petropellets, which increases the efficiency with, which the cattle can be raised for food. The only consequence is that a cow can explode. Sophia Marshall, his daughter, comes on board as a marketing guru at the firm. On the side of all that is good and wholesome of this epic battle for exploding cattle is the range free cattle rancher Chip Randell from Sustainable Family Farming Association. He is a rancher focused on sustainability along with being the party that posts a video of Animoil’s cows exploding on the internet. The posted video went viral causing Buck all types of trouble, so Chip was asked to take it down and refute the information provided in the video. Chip, of course, refused the request of Industrial Food Image Bureau (I.F.I.B.) and the series begins.
The series leverages satire to educate the public about food origins in tandem with spreading the message of sustainable farming. Chipotle uses the show as a vehicle to increase its brand awareness among those interested in this issue. Fresh Meat references the sponsors Chipotle only once. However, Hulu really focused on branding the television show as being associated with Chipotle. The show is slightly preachy, but in a cute Lisa Simpson way about sustainability, while being fun. Sometimes it is best to entertain first and educate second as done by the show. The message is packaged in a fun and easily digestible package with both the funny PR CEO and the attractive actor playing Chip. Additionally, the blowing up of the cows is dramatic, but is needed to get the audience’s attention. The attention getting explosions, attractive actors, and a funny CEO is a great recipe cooked up by Chipotle for teaching about the origins of food.
Kudos, Chipotle! Chipotle executed a smart marketing campaign that their increased brand awareness better than a Superbowl ad, while educating citizens about food origins in a palpable way. Lack of good marketing, in my opinion, is why healthy lifestyles are not adopted by citizens, such as being a vegetarian, working out, and meditation. For example, if vegetarians emphasized having a full head of hair, clear skin, and slimmer waistline as a result of being vegan/vegetarian more people might convert, while simultaneously emphasizing the PETA issues less, which are very important. A little satire sprinkled on top of any topic cannot hurt even encouraging the public to adopt a healthier lifestyle. We all love to laugh. The end result would be the same, healthier people and animals saved along with a better environment.
I give the show a B+, because it was not something that I felt the need to give my full attention. However, it was an enjoyable show, that I would recommend to others to explore agribusiness and food origins in a fun way.