That’s A Lot Of Bread

Panera Bread is investing $40 million in its first major television campaign from Mullen. But from the looks of it, they need to spend a little more time on creative development, before sinking that kind of money into media.

Panera’s founder, Ron Shaich, sits in a local store and explains how the chain’s focus on fresh bread and ingredients makes the brand “a place with a soul.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve eaten at Panera, and a place with soul isn’t the brand experience I came away with. Places with soul don’t have 1,467 bakery-cafes spread across the nation.

Panera chief marketing officer Michael Simon, in an interview with Forbes, said the new “Make Today Better” campaign is meant to “elevate Panera from a brand customers prefer to one customers love.” Is an ad campaign even capable of that?

Read more at Nation’s Restaurant News.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today, as head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon, I'm focused on providing affordable and effective integrated marketing solutions to mid-market clients.


  1. “Is an ad campaign even capable of that?” That is indeed the question.

    I can’t help but wonder if they would be better served by a $5 million ad campaign and $35 million invested to elevate the in-store experience from one customers prefer to one customers love. Otherwise, aren’t they just polishing a turd? (Although, in this case, the current experience isn’t really turd-like, but you catch my drift.)

    • I catch your drift. Panera is actually a decent place for a sandwich. But there’s no decent place on earth for what I like to call “client self-love.” Self-respect, yes. Delusional self-importance, no.