Boring version: Chipotle, the Mexican restaurant chain, is producing a new four-episode comedy series for Hulu called Farmed and Dangerous. The series will attempt to use satire to push the company’s firm anti-factory-farming message by showing the dangers of industrial agriculture and the fallout from a viral public relations crisis.
Exciting version: YO RAY WISE FROM TWIN PEAKS IS PLAYING A SLEAZY GUN-TOTING PUBLICIST IN A COMEDY SERIES ABOUT EXPLODING COWS. I SWEAR TO GOD. WATCH THE TRAILER.
Explain please, the New York Times.
You’ll have to look hard to find Chipotle’s connection to the series. There are no scenes at Chipotle restaurants or impromptu testimonials to its tacos or quesadillas. (It is no accident, though, that the show’s young hero is named Chip.)
Rather, Farmed and Dangerous, billed as a “Chipotle original series,” hopes to promote the company’s concerns about sustainable agriculture and the humane treatment of animals used for meat. This stealth marketing strategy, Chipotle executives say, is not about “product integration,” but “values integration.” [...]
“Farmed and Dangerous is meant to strike large emotional chords — it’s not about selling burritos,” said Daniel Rosenberg, a former Hollywood executive whose New York-based company, Piro, produced the series with Chipotle.
I’m so torn on this. On one hand, I feel like this all deserves the benefit of the doubt because (a) Hulu already made one original comedy series that I loved dearly, The Wrong Mans, which you should all watch at some point, (b) the thing where Ray Wise plays an evil sleazy publicist, which is perfect, and (c) the exploding cow thing. But, on the other hand, the phrase “stealth marketing campaign” is right there in the dead center of that blockquote, and I almost threw up when I read it. Hmmm. Maybe if I knew exactly how many exploding cows there were. I think that might help.