Branded Long-Form Video Entertainment: Chipotle to Release Hulu Series

With shrinking attention spans and the rise of short-form video apps like Vine and Instagram Video, many brands have shied away from long-form video content. Recent reports and statistics from Ooyala and other industry leaders have pointed out the rise of long-form video streaming and its ability to engage viewers across all connected screens.

In its 2013 Q3 Global Video Index, Ooyala found that mobile video viewers spent 57% of their viewing time watching videos longer than 10 minutes. More than 20% of mobile video viewing time was spent streaming content more than one hour long. Additionally, tablet TV viewers spent more than 60% of their viewing time engaged with premium long-form videos running more than 10 minutes.

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eMarketer reported on a study from Digitalsmiths which found that mobile users are watching a significant amount of long-form content on their devices. Almost as popular as watching news clips or previews, movies and TV show reruns saw high engagement.

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Though most respondents did not use a subscription service to watch digital video content, those that did cited Netflix and Amazon Prime as their primary channels, with Hulu/Hulu Plus as a close third.

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Chipotle Mexican Grill is taking full advantage of long-form video viewers and has created a satirical video series for Hulu, “Farmed and Dangerous.” The company will launch the pilot episode Feb. 17  on Hulu.com (free) and Hulu Plus. The remaining episodes in the four part series will be available on consecutive Mondays. Check out the trailer below.

“Much of our marketing is aimed at making consumers more curious about where their food comes from and how it is prepared,” said Mark Crumpacker, chief marketing and development officer at Chipotle, about the new video series. “By making complex issues about food production more understandable—even entertaining—we are reaching people who have not typically been tuned into these types of issues.”

A new marketing vehicle for the company, “Farmed and Dangerous” was created to promote the restaurant chain’s “Food with Integrity” brand promise/differentiator. Crumpacker notes that this long-form video series is more about values-integration than product-integration. The format is perfect for online video viewers seeking entertainment value over branded messaging—Chipotle has successfully combined the two in order to expand its reach among long-form video viewers.

Even though the series is reported to be “lightly branded,” it may turn viewers off if Chipotle’s presence dominates the plot line. If the chain is successful in terms of viewership and engagement with the show, it may open up a door for other companies that may wish to produce branded long-form video entertainment.

Understandably, viewers won’t want to be overloaded with this type of content, so interested brands should act fast.

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