Willie Nelson, Chipotle collaborate for environmental ad

Every so often a motion picture, video short or ad campaign successfully combines audio and visual to create an awe-inspiring product. Chipotle has recently been added to that list of successful endeavors.

The franchise, collaborating with Willie Nelson, has released a two-minute advertisement supporting sustainable farming in today’s agribusiness world. While the environmental message comes across as harsh, it was executed in a creative way and it makes a point worth considering.

In the ad, set for release in theaters later this month, Nelson covers one of Coldplay’s most successful songs, “The Scientist.” The track itself questions modern science  — how far is too far? When should we stop pushing boundaries?

The video begins with a small-town farmer realizing he has the opportunity to increase his profits exponentially. So, in come the changes. He builds pigpen, towering silos and leads the pigs into a massive machine that cuts them into cubes. Nelson’s wavering vocals over the politically charged track highlight the severity of the campaign.

After wandering the countryside late at night as Nelson trembles “Nobody said it was easy…,” the farmer decides to ditch the profits and go back to sustainable farming. “I’m going back to the start,” Nelson croons as the farmer physically overturns pens, barren fields and big buildings.

The track is a nice take on a classic. The song has the recognizable crescendo to the end of the ad, but it’s really Nelson’s vocals that shine here. There is a level of humility before science, but also honesty for something you can tell the singer believes in fighting for.

The advertisement showcases music performance at its finest.

Nelson’s rendition of “The Scientist” is currently available for purchase on iTunes.