Chipotle and Johnny Kelly reunite on sustainable campaign

A decade on from the awards and real-world success of Back to the Start, Chipotle returns with another emotive stop motion spot by director Johnny Kelly

In the last decade alone, the US has lost more than 20 million acres of farmland, a trend that is threatening the existence of small and mid-sized farms in particular. Mexican restaurant chain Chipotle has a long history supporting family-run farms that treat their animals humanely and prioritise environmentally friendly farming practices.

The brand’s stop-motion campaign film Back To The Start made waves within the farming community and the wider world when it was first released back in 2011. Directed by Nexus Studios’ Johnny Kelly and featuring a cover of Coldplay track The Scientist by Willie Nelson, the spot won two Cannes Grand Prix awards and helped to change the conversation on animal welfare.

A decade on, and as Chipotle commits $5 million over the next five years to support the future of farming, the brand has brought Kelly back to turn the coversation towards human welfare. Here, the director discusses bringing his love letter to family-run farms up to date for 2021, plus the painstaking process of creating ten different sets and over 70 animated characters.