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Chipotle Is Back on Its TikTok Game Just in Time for Halloween

The popular chain is following up on this year’s impressive string of successful TikTok campaigns.

Perhaps more than any other franchisor in the QSR and fast casual space, Chipotle has fully embraced the Gen Z-facing approach to marketing. One of the many ways the brand has done this is through a full-on adoption of the popular social media app for teens, TikTok. 

Chipotle recently became the first and only major restaurant franchise to have a TikTok account. The decision seems to be paying off for the brand, who embarked on a six-day #ChipotleLidFlip campaign with the help of social media influencer David Dobrik, generating 104 million video starts in May. 

The brand’s foray into TikTok doesn’t stop there. This summer’s #GuacDance challenge generated 250,000 video submissions and 430 million videos—TikTok’s highest performing branded challenge yet. The hashtag brought results in the real world as well, with the chain’s avocado usage jumping 68%.

The brand’s newest campaign is part of the annual "Boorito" Halloween celebration, which includes a branded hashtag challenge on TikTok. The TikTok Transformation contest asks Chipotle fans to post videos showing "before and after" shots of getting into costume. The restaurant chain is awarding free burritos for a year to five TikTok users whose videos receive the most likes on the video-sharing app. Chipotle enlisted influencers including Zach King and Brittany Broski to promote the challenge with their own branded posts.

Chipotle knows its audience—the chain was recently ranked among the five most popular restaurant brands for teens, according to Piper Jaffray's semi-annual "Taking Stock With Teens" survey, making TikTok a key marketing channel for the chain. 

Instead of brand advertisements, social media has become a place for off-beat and wacky marketing campaigns. As TikTok continues to turn weird memes into money, it appears that Chipotle has found a successful way to make good use of the app’s viral video power.