Released by Chipotle on September 11, 2013, “The Scarecrow” is a brilliant animated short set to the hauntingly beautiful musical piece “Pure Imagination”, sung by Fiona Apple. In just over three minutes, it encapsulates the story of the food industry in the United States, as told by those in the Slow Food movement–of which Duba & Company is most certainly a part. If you’ve not already seen it, you’re in for a “reel” treat:

In the above animated short, the scarecrow is the personification of rural agrarian life. With the near-complete shift from small farms to one, large factory farm (Crow Foods, Inc.), the scarecrow’s traditional role of spooking crows from pillaging the farm has been completely reversed. The scarecrow is now used as another cog in the machine of Crow Foods, under the intimidating supervision of the company’s robotic crows. As the story progresses the propaganda of Crow Foods, Inc. is exposed and the film’s protagonist (a scarecrow) begins a movement to make a better world.

The film has left me asking questions about the nature of propaganda and marketing. Clearly, Crow Foods is engaged in false marketing. But “The Scarecrow” itself is a brilliant piece of propaganda. Is all propaganda bad? If “The Scarecrow” is not propaganda, what is it?

1 reply
  1. Amy Ann Maria
    Amy Ann Maria says:

    I’ve been watching this circulate widely these past couple of weeks and have refrained from saying much. However, I think you raise a good point about propaganda. On one hand you have this piece that was created by Chipotle who in and of itself is a “big box” food peddler. On the other hand they strive hard to try and do things right and source better. Not all propaganda is bad when it gets a consumer to think more about where their products are coming from. BUT we should not just take this propaganda at face value. This should challenge us to look more about not only Chipotle’s practices when it comes to food but ALL practices when it comes to where we shop and eat. It should force us to be a conscientious consumer. If we all believed propaganda then we would all believe Wal-Mart’s commercials that they work really well with local farmers and are totally ethical (something many of us know not to be true and I encourage other to dig deeper when it comes to Wal-Mart). We all have to make choices and sometime’s we have to really look at how are money is being spent and what it is ultimately supporting. I believe this piece has started good dialogue and hopefully gets people thinking more on where their spend their money and also makes them thing about “big food/big Ag” and start to question it more.


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