Chipotle

The 2012 GRAMMY Awards airing this Sunday, February 12th will be a night of firsts (and not just because Skrillex has 5 nominations). Chipotle, the fast casual Mexican-inspired restaurant chain will run its first national television advertisement during the awards ceremony and the longest commercial to air during a GRAMMY awards ceremony.

Titled “Back to the Start,” the commercial garnered international attention when it was released in 2011 via YouTube. Set to a soundtrack featuring 10-time GRAMMY Award-winner Willie Nelson covering Coldplay’s “The Scientist.” Johnny Kelly directed the stop motion animated film that shows the story of a small farmer who evolves into a modern factory farm before realizing he needs to revert “back to the start” and embrace sustainable farming methods.

In a statement released by Chipotle, founder Steve Ells said, “We have always understood the importance of serving food that is raised right, but that is a difficult thing to communicate with the limitations of traditional advertising. ‘Back to the Start’ tells the story of a farmer’s journey from traditional farming to an industrial food production model, then back to his roots of traditional farming again – a story that tracks closely with some of our suppliers and that demonstrates why we think it is so important to serve food made with ingredients from more sustainable sources.”

Chipotle has 1,100 locations across the U.S. and is the only national food chain with a commitment to sustainable farming practices, purchasing 10 million pounds of produce from local farmers located no more than 350 miles from each Chipotle restaurant.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Image: aranami