What is in this article?:
- New Panera campaign emphasizes values
- Goal of the new campaign
The new campaign was created by the Chicago-based Cramer-Krasselt agency, which Panera hired last year.
Michael Simon, CMO at Panera Bread Co.
Panera Bread Co. has launched a new “Live Consciously. Eat Deliciously.” marketing campaign that highlights its values and philanthropy while promoting the quality of its food.
The 1,652-unit St. Louis-based bakery-café chain has amped up its marketing budget over the past year, and its latest effort stands as the centerpiece of the push.
The platform, which debuted in February, was created by the Chicago-based Cramer-Krasselt agency, which Panera hired last year. It features a variety of channels: national cable and local television, digital video and display, social media, and, this month, print. The company said its 2013 budget for this campaign is approximately 30 percent more than last year’s spend.
“This is an expression of what we stand for as a company, our soul,” Panera chief marketing officer Michael Simon told Nation’s Restaurant News. “In many ways, this has been with us for the 30 years of our existence, but we’ve been very inner-directed. If you were an employee, you knew the things we do. But we’ve never shared it more broadly.”
Simon added that the new platform has a “playful, charming nature,” — including a commercial that features an intricate Rube Goldberg device — while conveying a serious message. Besides, he added, “Everybody loves a Rube Goldberg device.”
Simon broke down the campaign for Nation’s Restaurant News.
Why is now a good time to shift to the ‘Live Consciously’ focus?
This is about how we feel. There was a type of humility. But as we looked at the context of restaurant advertising — which tends to be focused on beautiful food photography or value or discounts — we had been playing in the more functional space, talking about how great our food was. It was clear that while we thought we had a more authentic space in telling our food story and thought we romanced it more, customers were hearing the same thing from everyone. We had this great story.
If you look across the spectrum of restaurant advertising, it’s very different...our message around values and living consciously, I think stands out.
How does it touch consumers?
It’s not just about our social responsibility. It’s really across everything we do, from how we compete to how we work together as an organization and also how we exercise our competencies for good. What we wanted to do is say, rather than, “Our soups, salads and sandwiches are better than the restaurant across the street,” is to really try to connect with consumers around shared values, on people who make conscious choices each day to elevate their own lives and those of friends and family around them.
What is the core of the message?
We as a company made all these conscious decisions, like baking fresh bread from fresh dough daily in our 1,600 cafes. To do that, we had to make the choice to build a national fresh dough facility infrastructure. We had to hire and train 3,000 bakers who get up every night at 11 or 12 o’clock and bake fresh bread and sweet breads for each café. And then at the end of the day, whatever isn’t sold is donated to food banks and hunger organizations.
It was our conscious decision to move away from deli meat to antibiotic-free meat that’s made with a sous vide cooking method.
You also emphasize Panera’s role in the community.
Last year we donated over $100 million in bread. That inspired us to open the Panera Cares Cafes. These are all conscious decisions we have made to elevate the lives of our customers and the folks who work with us.