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Ad of the Day: Panera Gets Into Lifestyle Branding With Manifesto About Healthy Living


New ads for Panera Bread lean into the food-as-lifestyle trend—and in that sense, play in the space of Chipotle and, to a lesser extent, Chobani.

While Panera's ads, which break today, can't match the rich production quality of the CAA Marketing's online films for Chipotle, the message is just as clear—people are literally sick of eating food loaded with man-made ingredients. So, they're chosing to eat better, even if it costs more, based on the promise that they'll feel better and be happy.

Panera's campaign, tagged "Food as it should be," marks the first big push from the chain's new lead agency, Anomaly, hired late last year. At the time, the company said it was impressed by the shop's past work for Dick's Sporting Goods, among other clients. And the new ads are similar to the Dick's work in that they capture small moments and feel more realistic than aspirational.

The 60-second version of the anthem spot, "Should Be," for example, includes images of happy eaters that were shot around columns and through a window:

In addition, the camera moves as if it's handheld, and the lighting includes shadows, creating a more naturalistic feel, as in "Celebration." Still, I'm not sure a Caesar salad featuring kale would spark this kind of reaction among most teenage girls.

Beyond the TV spots, there are outdoor, radio and online ads, including a meaty helping of social media marketing. Clearly, Panera, which typically spends about $90 million in media annually, is going for summer saturation here, with fun stuff like people struggling to pronounce bad ingredients (which Funny or Die has already skewered) and even CEO Ron Shaich talking earnestly about what his company stands for in this two-minute video:


"We're not trying to be someone's mother, telling them what they should or shouldn't do. We have no desire to do that," said Chris Hollander, Panera's head of marketing. "We simply want to say, 'Look, this is what we believe. ... If you share our values and share that philosophy, then yeah, come on in. We have some great options for you.'"

In addition, there's "The No No List" of artificial colors, flavors, sugars and preservatives that you won't find in Panera food. And below, check out a letter from Shaich that ran Sunday in major newspapers. In all, the campaign captures the spirit of the brand, without preaching or bad-mouthing the competition. Some things are better left unsaid.


Client: Panera Bread
Campaign: "Food As It Should Be"
Agency: Anomaly, New York
Executive Creative Director: Eric Segal
Art Director: Rebecca Johnson-Pond
Copywriter: Simon Philion
Creative Directors: Andrew Curry, Keiji Ando
Head of Production: Andrew Loevenguth
Senior Producer: Katherine Cheng
Music Supervisor: Jonathan Wellbelove
Account Director: Keiko Kurokawa
Project Manager: Milisava Tertovich
Production Company: Workhouse Projects
Director: Ben Quinn
Director of Photography: Jeremy Rouse
Executive Producer: Roger Zorovich
Line Producer: Salli Zilles
Editing House: Cut & Run, New York
Editor: Akiko Iwakawa
Executive Producer: Rana Martin
Producer: Ellese Jobin
Colorist: Fergus McCall/The Mill NY
Audio Mix: Tommy Jucarone, Rob DiFondi at Sound Lounge

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