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

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. 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. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  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.