NEWPORT BEACH, CA: Did you know the “Corn Kid” — real name Tariq — is also a major Chipotle fan?
The Mexican fast-food chain became the first brand to officially partner with Tariq after discovering he visits his local Chipotle in Queens, New York, once a week.
Tariq has taken the internet by storm after he appeared in a Recess Therapy video, which has gone viral on Instagram and TikTok, declaring his love for corn.
“Ever since I was told that corn was real, it tasted good. But when I tried it with butter, everything changed. I love corn,” Tariq told interviewer Julian Shapiro-Barnum.
The interview was also turned into a viral song produced by TikTok user @schmoyoho.
Candice Beck, Chipotle’s director of social, influencer and Web3, said that her team saw the video circulating early last week. Many social media users were tagging Chipotle and saying the brand should work with the Corn Kid, Beck said.
“We saw [other] brands and creators hopping on the real time opportunity,” said Beck. “Brands were trying to find ways to insert themselves into the conversation and create content around it.”
Yet Beck said that Chipotle didn’t want to simply take the “low-hanging fruit” by creating a meme quickly in reaction to Tariq’s video. The brand wanted to go the extra mile to ensure its content was strategic and authentic.
Chipotle reached out to Tariq and his mother to have a conversation and was able to connect with them through Cameo, which facilitated a partnership less than 24 hours after his video went viral. Fans can connect with Tariq on Cameo for personalized video messages.
That’s how Chipotle’ team was able to find out that Tariq is a legit fan of the chain’s food. His go-to order, according to Beck, is a bowl with white rice, pinto beans, chicken, roasted chili corn salsa, sour cream and lettuce.
Within 17 hours of talking to Tariq, Chipotle got him to his local restaurant to create a sponsored video. In the comedic video, which Chipotle posted to Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and Facebook, a worker is asking him what ingredients he wants in his bowl. Of course he says “no” to everything except corn.
Wait for it pic.twitter.com/4ivkt8YJMy— Chipotle (@ChipotleTweets) August 27, 2022
“It is our highest performing Instagram post of all time; our top-liked and shared video,” said Beck.
The video racked up 13.2 million views on Instagram and more than 800,000 shares. It is also Chipotle’s top organic TikTok video of all time, with 21.4 million views and 3.8 million likes.
“Chipotle always aspires to work with true fans of the brand,” said Beck. “This was such a great representation of when we see something happening in culture and the way we are part of it in a way that is natural and genuine and authentic to Chipotle.”
BCW and Day One Agency are working on the campaign.
Since the original Corn Kid video was posted on August 19, there have been more than 600,000 global tweets about corn on Twitter, an 11% increase compared to the previous 11 days, a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement.
While other brands have not partnered with Tariq, many have jumped on the Corn Kid conversation on social media.
University of Nebraska Cornhuskers
Go Go Go Big Red!!!— Nebraska Huskers (@Huskers) August 25, 2022
-CORN KID pic.twitter.com/YQ4vSpqkor
I guarantee you I like wings more than that kid likes corn— Hootie (@Hooters) August 25, 2022
Church's Texas Chicken
no one:— Chips Ahoy! (@ChipsAhoy) August 26, 2022
me: ItS COrN pic.twitter.com/51LY6L32yK
Jersey corn, I can't imagine a more beautiful thing pic.twitter.com/Lxe6MqM7Oy— New Jersey (@NJGov) August 29, 2022
Doug the Pug
IT’S CORN!!!! pic.twitter.com/HbJHKyqEiJ— Doug The Pug (@itsdougthepug) August 30, 2022
IT’S CORN pic.twitter.com/MrvUFmf1hv— Busch Beer (@BuschBeer) August 27, 2022
for me, i really like corn pic.twitter.com/RbUkXs0fN9— blue buffalo (@bluebuffalo) August 29, 2022
Vegas Golden Nights
Boss: we have to tweet something today— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) August 27, 2022
Us: IT’S CORN!
Orlando International Airport
For us, we really like corn.— Orlando International Airport (@MCO) August 29, 2022
*the corn: MCO ✈️ pic.twitter.com/091YcxNDBZ
*trying to think of a new TikTok video idea*— TikTok Creators (@tiktokcreators) August 30, 2022
brain: “it’s CORN! ”
Guinness World Records
it’s corn— Guinness World Records (@GWR) August 30, 2022
a big lump with knobs
it has the juice
i can’t imagine a more beautiful thing pic.twitter.com/M4I2wC1syG