The Scarecrow and Digital Rhetoric

The home page for Chipotle's "Scarecrow" campaign website.

When discussing what can and cannot be considered digital rhetoric in class on Tuesday, I found the lines to be a little fuzzy. In the blog article we read for class, multiplayer games like “World of Warcraft” were considered digital rhetoric while other visual media like YouTube videos could not always be classified as digital rhetoric.

Still, I find the Chipotle Scarecrow campaign, a multi-faceted campaign, an effective example of digital rhetoric. Through the use of a game, a short film, and facts, Chipotle aims to educate people about healthy alternatives to processed food, animal confinement, and the use of toxic pesticides in our food supply.

I know that the first time I watched the short film, I was shocked at how sad an animated film of animals could make me feel. The film uses scarecrows as symbols of those interested in healthy and safe food production methods and industrial giant “Crow Foods” as a symbol of the corporations exploiting animal and human safety to make money in their food production. In this dystopian fantasy world, the scarecrow seeks to provide an alternative to these unsustainable ways of processing food (and offers Chipotle as a leader of that movement).

The video, in combination with the game, is an effective, affective, and interactive way for Chipotle to send a strong human interest message. Chipotle’s exigence is clear: if the video and game is able to invoke the emotional response it did in me in other customers, they will be able to make a significant social change.



Sarah Schuman

Hi! I'm Sarah, from the Chicago area. I write more eloquently with a chai latte by my side.

3 thoughts to “The Scarecrow and Digital Rhetoric”

  1. I like what you said in the end of the post. Today a lot of companies try to attract customers and persuade them from an emotional aspect. This way better represents humanity and the increasing attention on lifestyle. I believe it is an excellent example of digital rhetoric because only with the help of internet and computers are companies able to spread their ideas all over the world in a few seconds. I would say if every company starts to care more about human well being and create more digital rhetoric campaigns like this, the impact will be immeasurable. Through this campaign, I feel the power of digital rhetoric that traditional rhetoric never has and the potential of digital rhetoric in the future.

  2. Hi Sarah. Great example of how interacting with an audience is digital rhetoric. I had never seen this advertisement before so when I watched and played along I ended up learning a lot of cool things about Chipotle and food in general. It’s a great way to engage an audience, people who could become loyal customers, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a few other companies try and do something similar.

  3. Sarah this example is great. Especially since it uses so many different ways of presentation to get it’s point across. When this campaign first came out, I thought it was a great interactive way to get get users to communicate, which I feel is one of the main points of digital rhetoric. I also never thought about how digital rhetoric could be used to convince someone to make a change as well. What I do wonder though is if this was really Chipotle’s true intentions or did they really just want users to like the company so that they would buy food.

Leave a Reply