Will $8.99-a-Month Unlimited Coffee Cause a Stampede to Panera?

'Your cup is always full,' chain guarantees

OK, who's up for unlimited coffee at Panera?

The mob rushing around town in the bakery cafe's new cinematic commercial from Goodby Silverstein & Partners and MJZ director Craig Gillespie certainly is.

And if they sign up for the brand's new coffee subscription, they can fill their cups all month long for just $8.99. It's a jittery, java-drenched dream come true!

Panera | Sunrise

"Our unlimited coffee subscription is disrupting a category, and so we needed our ad creative to be just as disruptive and different," says Panera svp of marketing Chris Hollander.

Hmm, that horde in the ad—GS&P's first work for the brand—seems awfully amped-up already. Do they really need more joe? (We all know the answer is YES!)

"If you're a coffee drinker, you've probably felt this animalistic draw to coffee in the morning," GS&P associate creative director Justin Ralph tells Muse. "That got us thinking—if one cup of coffee has that effect, what happens when there's unlimited coffee? From there, we arrived at all these people perking up, answering a call we don't initially see, then forming a human stampede to Panera."

Gillespie, who directed the acclaimed film I, Tonya among many other features and commercials, was the team's first choice for this project. "We needed someone who could make the spot feel big—like a movement was beginning," says agency creative director Will Elliott.

Movement … or coffee-fueled suburban rampage? It's all good!

Gillespie's four-minute "New Santa" spot for Audi and Muh-tay-zik Hof-fer, from Christmas 2018, though stylistically different, exudes a similar vibe. With "Our Cup Is Always Full," he brews up fun, memorable frames as Panera looks to advance in its battle with Starbucks. In fact, the :30 plays a bit like a zombie-film trailer. That fits the mission, as many folks would use their Panera subscriptions for a morning caffein jolt to bring themselves "back to life."

Shooting took two days, at the Disney Ranch and in Los Angeles' Ladera Heights neighborhood, with a cast of 150 made to look like thousands by Eight VFX.

"One thing you may forget about in spots with a lot of running is the amount of takes required to get those shots just right" says Ralph. "Our extras ran for almost two days straight—thank you, extras! When we wrapped, I'm pretty sure everyone had already reached their fitness goals for the year."


Ad Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners
Client: Panera
Title of Creative Work: "Sunrise" 
Live Date: 3/2/20

CEO: Niren Chaudhary
SVP Marketing: Chris Hollander
VP Marketing: Scott Nelson
Director, Brand Marketing: Kelli Nicholson
Senior Brand Manager: Kelsey Postal
Brand Marketing Coordinator: Tessa Rankin

Partner: Jeff Goodby
Partner: Rich Silverstein
Chief Creative Officer: Margaret Johnson
Creative Director: Will Elliott
ACD/Art Director: Maria Lee
ACD/Copywriter: Justin Ralph

Director of Broadcast Production: Leila Gage
Producer: Melissa Nagy

Account Services
Managing Partner: Leslie Barrett
Account Manager: Ellen Lovoy
Assistant Account Manager: Lauren Benyik

Brand and Communication Strategy
Head of Brand Strategy: Bonnie Wan
Director of Brand Strategy: Cassidy Wilber
Communication Strategy Director: Victoria Barbatelli
Brand Strategist: Ginny Rider

Business Affairs
Director of Business Affairs: Judy Ybarra
Traffic Manager / Business Affairs Coordinator: Howie Mapson    

Production Company 
Company name: MJZ
Director: Craig Gillespie
Director of Photography: Masanobu Takayanagi
Line Producer: Martha Davis
Executive Producer: Emma Wilcockson

Editorial Company
Company name: Spot Welders
Editor: Haines Hall
Assistant Editor: JC Nunez
Senior Producer: Jessica Davis
Executive Producer: Carolina Padilla

Company name: Company 3
Colorist: Dave Hussey
Color Producer: Gabriel Wakeman

Company name: Eight VFX
Executive Producer: Ashley Ford
VFX Producer: Ryan Dahlman
VFX Supervisor: Jean-Marc Demmer
Flame Lead Artist: Christophe Richard
Motion Graphics Artist: Adam Singer

Music, Sound Design and Audio Mix
Music: Barking Owl
Sound Designer: Morgan Johnson
Creative Director: Kelly Bayett
Producer: KC Dossett
Mix: Matt Kieth

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