The Time Chipotle Generated 4 Billion On TikTok

For the first time since the pandemic, the Boorito campaign is back in Chipotle restaurants. The latter comes after two years of confinement to the ether (specifically TikTok).

The Boorito campaign premiered in 2000 as a burrito-themed costume contest at Chipotle outlets, per Chipotle's Newsroom, and the food chain gave deals to any walk-ins wearing unnecessary garb on Halloween for a while afterward. Chipotle's first step towards the virtual world was in 2017 when customers were required to send a text with the word "BOORITO," per TODAY. In 2018 the chain included Instagram in its collection of marketing tools and required contestants to post pictures of their Halloween outfits to the platform. The winner would be determined through a vote and receive a burrito every week for a year, per TODAY's 2018 coverage of the deal. 

Boorito's first occurrence on TikTok was in 2019. Contestants would have to submit a video of themselves before and after their Halloween makeovers, and five winners would receive free burritos for a whole year (per PR Newswire). Little did the chain know the campaign would become a landmark achievement, not only in Chipotle history but TikTok's too.

Chipotle's mega viral TikTok Campaign

The Mexican-themed fast-casual chain's digital debut was a success of cosmic proportions, with 3.9 billion interactions over four months, per Bloomberg (via Tubefilter). The twist? At the time of undertaking, TikTok had just under three billion subscribers internationally, per Insider Intelligence, and only 35.7 million of those users resided in America (per Statista).

Assuming that the campaign drew the bulk of its interactions from locations where it was active, the fact that 99,5% of Chipotle outlets were on American soil in 2019 (per Business Quant, Global Data) is pertinent. It indicates that the average Chipotle fan interacted with videos of TikTok's #Boorito promotion repeatedly.

Little did Chipotle know, #Boorito's 2019 TikTok premiere was a precursor of its two-year confinement to the digital sphere. Halloween of 2020 (Boorito's 20th anniversary) came at the heart of the pandemic, so Chipotle, bolstered by the results of 2019, went gung-ho. They availed of 500,000 Buy One Get One coupon codes (per Nasdaq) and partnered with the illustrious Addison Rae (via Trendhunter). While their efforts helped edge the view count closer to where it is now (4.2 billion), the fruits of their efforts were a mere drop in the ocean.