Chipotle Names New Agencies To ‘Evolve’ Marketing Program


Moving beyond billboards with tinfoil-wrapped monster burritos, Chipotle is ready for a new marketing campaign. The move is part of a new wave of marketing for the brand, which jumped to “470-480 basis points combined marketing, historically we've been in the 200-250 range,” said Chipotle CFO Jack Hartung at the ICR Conference. He said it would likely fall to about 3% of sales as things continue to normalize at the brand.

The new campaign will begin in April of 2017 and will include national TV advertising.

To absorb some of the margin hit of the marketing bump, the Chipotle management team also noted a new labor scheduling system to “right-size” labor and doing away with a people building tool that “didn't actually build better people--that was a lot of complexity right off the top,” said founder and CEO Steve Ells.

Read more on the new agency below:

Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) announced that it has selected two new agency partners. Venables Bell & Partners will take on advertising duties, and MullenLowe Mediahub was selected for media planning and buying. The decision comes at the end of a four-month agency review that included consideration of nearly 20 potential agency partners.

“After considering some extremely talented agencies, we decided that retaining two best in class partners to work with us on the advertising and media roles gave us the best combination of talent to help us as we continue to evolve our marketing programs,” said Mark Crumpacker, chief marketing and development officer at Chipotle.

Venables Bell is a San Francisco-based agency that has won accolades for its work for client companies such as Audi, REI, and Intel, among others, and was named breakthrough agency of the year in 2016 by AdWeek magazine. Boston-based Mediahub is the global media planning and buying arm of MullenLowe Group, and represents a variety of progressive brands including JetBlue, Netflix, Bose and Shinola, among many others. Mediahub was named 2016 Creative Media Agency of the Year by Mediapost.

See the full press release at Chipotle’s investor relations page.

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