Cannes Lions

Chipotle: From TikTok to Table

DAY ONE AGENCY, New York / CHIPOTLE / 2023

Presentation Image
Case Film
1 of 0 items

Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Background

The customizable nature of Chipotle means hacks are a way of life, but the one that dropped on TikTok in December changed the conversation. TikTok creators Keith Lee and Alexis Frost ignited massive fanfare for their steak quesadilla “hack” with fajita veggies and a DIY sauce consisting of sour cream and Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette.

The result? 5M views on the original Keith and Alexis hack video and a mouthwatering creation fans were begging to try. The issue? The Fajita Quesadilla was not on the menu and nearly impossible to order - disrupting Chipotle employees and customers across the country.

Chipotle could have put this hack on a multi-year menu innovation roadmap. Instead, Chipotle showed up for its super fans and community by partnering with Keith and Alexis to make the impossible possible and truly rewarding for all.

Idea

Rather than issue a standard #sponsored post, Chipotle’s culinary team, for the first time ever, partnered with influencers to ditch its usual menu innovation timeline and fast-track an online hack into a readily available menu item. In record time the recipe was tested, 100k+ employees across 3,200 restaurants were trained, and the ordering flow online and in the app was updated.

The internet started whispering about the hack on December 22, and by January 6, in partnership with Keith and Alexis, Chipotle officially announced, via timely social content, that the must-have hack was becoming a reality.

If that wasn't enough, Chipotle had one final surprise up its sleeve - Keith and Alexis each got their own branded restaurant, with custom ChipotLEE and ChipotLEX marquees in Las Vegas.

This groundbreaking and creative approach to menu innovation and influencer partnerships set a new standard for the industry and inspired 4.5B PR impressions.

Strategy

As the first restaurant brand to reach 1M followers (now 2.2M) on TikTok, Chipotle values listening to its fans through social comments and user generated content. Understanding what fans really care about is Chipotle’s superpower.

Chipotle’s social team is hardwired into culture and when the hack conversation dropped during the quiet week before New Years, they knew immediately this needed to become a reality and that it could only come to life in true collaboration with Keith and Alexis. The new Fajita Quesadilla was the perfect addition to Chipotle's menu that could only have grown on TikTok, where the brand leveraged platform native functionality of stitching and responding to influencers and fans to create its most ambitious creator collaboration, and menu launch, to-date.

By understanding its target audience and the creator economy, Chipotle continues to lead the way with innovative and impactful earned media campaigns that drive attention and headlines.

Execution

Chipotle's innovative approach went beyond a simple sponsored post as they co-created a new, national menu item with influencers, trained 100K employees, and rewarded creators as more Fajita Quesadillas sold. The moment started on TikTok, but that was just the beginning.

Over two months, Chipotle worked tirelessly with Keith and Alexis - bringing them to the test kitchen to meet the Chipotle culinary team, coordinating custom content responses to their fans, collaborating on menu unveil content to hosting local surprise and delight Fajita Quesadilla delivery moments for fans. Chipotle even had a surprise for Keith and Alexis as they each received their own Chipotle marquee signage in Las Vegas.

The Fajita Quesadilla launched cross-platform including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok along with CRM to engage Chipotle’s 30M+ Rewards members. From new in-restaurant signage to the Chipotle app and third-party deliveries, Keith and Alexis’ hack was irresistible to order.

Outcome

At launch, the Fajita Quesadilla nearly doubled Chipotle’s Quesadilla business creating two of Chipotle's top digital sales days of all time.

Even international super-star Lizzo admitted to wanting to try the Steak Fajita Quesadilla, despite being a vegetarian.

The campaign drove 4.5 Billion PR Impressions as media were eager to cover each stage of the conversation - from TikTok to table.

Chipotle Rewards Enrollments increased by 37% week over week at launch and the campaign inspired over 34 Million social impressions and 3.7 Million social engagements.

Similar Campaigns

12 items

Chipotle Boorito Maze

DAY ONE AGENCY, New york

Chipotle Boorito Maze

2022, CHIPOTLE

(opens in a new tab)