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Errol Morris is making Chipotle’s new ads

The documentary-style pieces give a behind-the-scenes look at the chain’s kitchens.
Photograph courtesy of Chipotle Mexican Grill

The Thin Foil Line?

Chipotle Mexican Grill on Monday unveiled its newest ad campaign, a documentary-style series of ads featuring a behind-the-scenes look at the chain’s kitchens, featuring the chain’s employees and suppliers.

Errol Morris, the documentarian behind films such as "The Thin Blue Line," shot the digital and TV spots, which feature Chipotle’s kitchens, equipment and prep routines and are called “Behind the Foil.”

“I’ve seen firsthand the real ingredients and culinary skills that Chipotle employees possess and I’m officially a believer,” Morris said in a statement.

The ads are part of the chain’s efforts to highlight its cooking techniques and the freshness of its ingredients. Chipotle has been doubling down on its sourcing and preparation as it seeks to rebuild sales lost when customers abandoned the chain following a series of food safety incidents in 2015.

The chain’s same-store sales rose 6.1% last quarter and its average unit volumes topped $2 million—though they remain 17% below peak 2015 levels.

“Chipotle is committed to becoming a more culturally relevant and engaging brand, and 'Behind the Foil' is another milestone along this journey,” Chipotle CMO Chris Brandt said in a statement.

Venables Bell & Partners created the campaign content, which provides “unfiltered and emotional testimonials” from Chipotle workers about the impact the company has had on their lives. The ads also give a glimpse into the daily preparation of Chipotle’s ingredients and the farmers that supply the brand with those items.

Chipotle broadcast its morning prep from one of its locations, in Irvine, Calif., on its Facebook page Monday to highlight these efforts.

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