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7 July 2016

The future's orange... and lemon.

by Andrew MacGregor

Chipotle: “A Love Story” - 4 mins 15s

Having charmed the viewing masses and prompted countless utterances of "I've got something in my eye" thanks to their moving Christmas ad for the Spanish National Lottery, Passion Pictures aim to maintain their impressive storytelling form with this film for Mexican food chain Chipotle.

It's an innocent set-up: the boy with his orange juice stand, the girl with her lemonade stall. Besotted by his fellow vendor across the street, the lad improves his advertising in order to raise funds for a movie date.

Alas, the girl treats this as a hostile incursion on her market share, and thus begins an amusing war of escalation as this citrus arms race produces two fast food monoliths... always staring each other in the neon-tinged eye on opposite sides of the street.

By the time their enterprises dominate the skyline, the duo realise - to their horror - that something unedifying is brewing in their respective food laboratories. Preservatives, synthetic flavours, and taste-enhancing robots run amok - and they don't take kindly to human intervention. Having been binned by their own creations, our star-crossed duo reunite to discover a better way - both in cuisine and in life.

Directed by former Pixar-wiz Saschka Unseld, the ad delivers both sumptuous visuals and a fun take on corporate food culture - we especially like "hand-made" being used as a marketing tool. The colour palette transitions from sunshine resting on suburban lawns to neon monstrosities with panache, while a cover of late-90s ballad 'I Want It That Way' by The Backstreet Boys adds a wistful sense of nostalgia to proceedings. As such, rewinding the clock is an apt theme.

Considering the restaurant chain's well-documented issues with food safety over the years, this could be construed as a mea culpa dressed in primary colours. If the brand wishes to communicate a determined effort to regain trust through improved work practices and better produce, then they've picked an eye-catching and engaging way of doing so.

Film Production: Passion Pictures Ⓟ Ⓦ
Director: Saschka Unseld
Producer: Sibylle Preuss
Executive Producer: Debbie Crosscup / Ryan Goodwin-Smith
Art Department: Katy Wu
VFX: Passion Pictures Ⓟ Ⓦ
VFX Shoot S'visor: Neil Riley
Colourist: Max Horton
Animation: Passion Pictures Ⓟ Ⓦ
Music Supervisor: Blake Mills
Vocals / Music: Brittany Howard / Jim James

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