Are tacos romantic? Are the Backstreet Boys still relevant? Can a cartoon sell fast-casual food?
These are the questions that Chipotle’s latest ad looks to answer. In a beautiful four-minute animated short, Chipotle partnered with a Pixar veteran to bring to life the sweet story of Evie and Ivan. They start out as children with rival homemade lemonade and orange juice stands, with each entrepreneur eventually running a competing large-scale fast-food operation. They ultimately realize, though, that their mass-production empires have grown out-of-hand — and it’s time to go back to basic, fresh ingredients (hello, tacos!), and each other. In other words, it looks and feels a lot like that heartbreaking love story segment in Pixar’s Up, but with more food (and a happy ending).
The dialogue-free short is backed by a cover of the Backstreet Boy’s iconic “I Want It That Way,” performed by Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes and Jim James of My Morning Jacket. The low-key, acoustic take on the 1999 pop song makes it barely recognizable, but suits the short’s nostalgic mood.