Breaking Bread

December 15, 2009 MullenLowe

UnknownSometimes social media doesn’t start with social media.  It starts with a print ad that in and of itself is social because it inspires participation and conversation. Such was the case with this new execution for  Panera Bread that recently ran in USA Today. We were tasked by our clients Rick Vanzura and Michael Simon to conceive an ad that captured the essence of Panera. They also wanted an idea that people would share. We didn’t need to talk about bread, or salads or sandwiches – just capture the brand. The ad that ran was an open letter to all the people in the world that need to “break bread.” The Secret Service & The Party Crashers; Darth Vader & Luke Skywalker; The Mac Guy & The PC Guy. The list goes on. But the real experience wasn’t the ad, it was the participation that continued on Facebook and Twitter. On both platforms friends and fans extended the list, offered their suggestions and reacted to one another’s ideas.  Marketing today isn’t a message; it’s a conversation. But we like to think that they can work in harmony.  Panera is a brand about warmth and sharing. It’s a brand around which people gather.  It’s a place place where people come together.  It only makes sense that their marketing would work the same way.