Anomaly Debuts First Work for Panera Bread

By Erik Oster 

Last September, when Panera Bread named Anomaly its lead creative agency it mentioned that an idea pitched by the agency was being developed into a full campaign, expected early this year. Now, a few months later than expected, that campaign has arrived in the form of “Food as it should be” which positions the brand as dedicated to providing customers with a healthier option free of artificial ingredients.

The agency introduces the tagline and brand mantra in the 60-second “Should Be,” which opens with the simple line, “Food should be good.” Elaborating on the line, the spot claims “Good bread makes a sandwich,” “Good soil makes a salad,” while lettuce should be dirty and dressing clean. It addresses artificial ingredients with the line about dressing, as well as “Sweet should never be fake.” The voiceover comes amidst casual shots of people enjoying Panera products, including students, young urban dwellers and families. “We’re not saying these are the rules we should all live by,” the spot concludes, weary of getting too preachy, “but it’s a good place to start.”

A pair of 15-second broadcast spots, “Celebration” and “Sweetness” elaborate on the anthem ad’s dedication to “goodness,” promoting the chain’s salads, which are free of artificial “flavors, colors, sweeteners, preservatives.” The approach touts Panera as a healthy option without calling out its competition directly, but it is clear that the brand’s values are presented as a better alternative to traditional fast food. Broadcast spots are supported by radio, print, OOH and online ads, including “A Conversation with Ron,” referring to CEO Ron Shaich, who talks at length about what his company stands for.

“We’re not trying to be someone’s mother, telling them what they should or shouldn’t do. We have no desire to do that,” Chris Hollander, Panera’s head of marketing, told Adweek. “We simply want to say, ‘Look, this is what we believe. … If you share our values and share that philosophy, then yeah, come on in. We have some great options for you.'”


Client: Panera Bread
Campaign: “Food As It Should Be”
Agency: Anomaly, New York
Executive Creative Director: Eric Segal
Art Director: Rebecca Johnson-Pond
Copywriter: Simon Philion
Creative Directors: Andrew Curry, Keiji Ando
Head of Production: Andrew Loevenguth
Senior Producer: Katherine Cheng
Music Supervisor: Jonathan Wellbelove
Account Director: Keiko Kurokawa
Project Manager: Milisava Tertovich
Production Company: Workhouse Projects
Director: Ben Quinn
Director of Photography: Jeremy Rouse
Executive Producer: Roger Zorovich
Line Producer: Salli Zilles
Editing House: Cut & Run, New York
Editor: Akiko Iwakawa
Executive Producer: Rana Martin
Producer: Ellese Jobin
Colorist: Fergus McCall/The Mill NY
Audio Mix: Tommy Jucarone, Rob DiFondi at Sound Lounge