Panera Bread's newest TV ad features an unlikely star: seat cushions.
“A cushion is just a cushion,” a voiceover says as the camera pans over customers sitting at a Panera. But sometimes, “a meal will turn into something so much more,” and a comfy cushion becomes “an invitation to keep going.”
The ad is part of the 2,112-unit bakery-cafe chain’s new brand campaign, “Generosity in the Details,” which highlights how small touches, like cushions, can make a big difference for customers.
The wide-reaching campaign includes TV, digital and billboard ads as well as new packaging and restaurant artwork and an updated app. It marks the first major mobilization of a brand refresh that began in June.
“The revamped brand is focused on the generous extra touches Panera adds to everything it does across its business to make the familiar, fantastic,” according to a press release.
A second TV spot features a location in Maplewood, Minn., that stays open an extra five minutes to serve late-arriving guests. Another highlights the chain’s Day End Dough-Nation program, which donates unsold baked goods to food banks. Two others hone in on ingredients, like how the pepperoni on the chain’s new toasted baguettes are sliced thick to add flavor.
Those toasted baguettes are also the star of a series of billboards and social media ads.
The baguettes are Panera’s follow-up to the popular Chef’s Chicken Sandwiches it launched in 2021. They're made with the same baguettes the chain has long offered as a side and are intended to fill what the brand views as a baguette-shaped hole in the U.S. sandwich market.
The campaign's emphasis on details will extend to new packaging and decor. Next month, customers will see new carryout bags with phrases such as “Bursting with Flavor!” and “Made with Love.” Bagel boxes and kettle-cooked potato chip bags will also get a new look. And some restaurants will feature refreshed wall art and signage.
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