Panera Bread: The latest account we forecasted to go into review
Steve’s breakdown: Like we said in May, see post below, Panera Bread had to go into review. Keep an eye on our Account Review Predictions everyday and you too could win an account like this.
The announcement of the new agency and new campaign is below our prediction.
Once the restaurant looks different, new advertising must follow
SAINT LOUIS, MO: Panera Bread is launching its first work from its new creative agency of record, Mother NY, which won the account following a competitive pitch that ended late last year. The decision came after the fast-casual restaurant chain ended its relationship with its previous creative AOR, Anomaly early last year after six years of working together.
While it is unknown which other agencies participated in the review, Goodby & Silverstein, which was hired on a project basis last year, declined to participate in the pitch according to a spokeswoman for the agency.
The “Live Your Yes” campaign is anchored by a 30-second video that showcases a split-screen of food and fun moments. As one side of the screen displays different Panera items—such as its soup in a bread bowl, flatbread pizza, and sandwiches—the other features a series of user-generated content that includes someone jumping into a tower of snow while shirtless, a mountain climber taking a selfie and a person doing a backflip on a pogo stick. The music featured in the ad is an unreleased track from singer and songwriter Mondo Cozmo.
The work was created to feel human and personal, Drayton Martin, VP of brand building at Panera Bread told Ad Age.
“We’re using real people expressing their ‘Yes’ and we’re tying that back visually through what’s going on with our food,” Martin says. “It’s the realness and rawness of it, that felt right. We didn’t go to some overly stylized or cliche place.”
The campaign will run across TV, digital, social and out-of-home.
The campaign comes as the casual food chain tries to reinvent itself into more of a lifestyle brand under the “Live Your Yes” platform, which Corinna Falusi, chief creative officer and partner at Mother New York says is “more than an advertising idea.”
“The opportunity to reinvent or reset Panera with a point of view on life is fantastic,” Falusi told Ad Age. “The insight that we started out with was behind the idea of how often we feel we have to compromise and do not fully lean into what we crave and want to enjoy. The ‘Live Your Life’ platform is a philosophy on how we look at food but also how we live life, and hopefully, that elevates Panera to the exact lifestyle brand it should be.”
The pandemic has clearly affected the restaurant industry and Panera Bread isn’t an exception. Many of its locations rely on people stopping by for coffee on the way to work or a sandwich and soup during a lunch break, as well as catering events such as meetings. During 2020, when dining rooms across the industry were shuttered for months, Panera’s systemwide U.S. sales fell 10.5% to $5.35 billion, and it slipped from being the nation’s 10th largest chain in 2019 to its 13th largest chain in 2020, according to data from Technomic.
Panera’s efforts such as launching a monthly $8.99 coffee subscription service and items such as flatbread pizza have helped the brand rebound. In August, Panera announced that its business had recovered and was performing above 2019 levels, with sales at longstanding locations up in May, June and July on a one- and two-year basis. Over the past two years, Panera’s delivery sales soared 150%. The delivery volume has been maintained even with cafes opening back up for in-person dining, according to the restaurant chain.
Earlier this year, Panera introduced an updated Panera “Mother Bread” logo of a woman cradling a loaf of bread, a callback to the sourdough starter the chain began using more than 30 years ago.
In July Panera released a summer apparel line to spur offseason interest in soup. Earlier this year Panera also released a pair of limited-edition “bread bowl gloves” and gave away its own “bread bowl bike” in celebration of Earth Day to promote a more eco-friendly option for transportation.