Panera Bread’s Ugly Christmas Cup Campaign Purposely Bucks Holiday Tradition

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What says Christmas more than decorative lights, festive trees, and the iconic ugly Christmas sweater? This year there’s a new entry into the fray, and it’s the “ugly Christmas coffee cup.”

Amid the proliferation of snowflake laden, tree ornamented holiday mugs, Panera Bread is hoping to stand out this year by being the opposite of the crowds. Their cup of choice for the season lacks traditional Christmas colors and bears little ornamentation, culminating in a result that is unimpressive and uneventful.

But it should not be implied that Panera is lacking in holiday cheer. The deeper reason, they say, for the ugly Christmas coffee cup – aside from being a clever marketing ploy – is to emphasize that “it’s what’s on the inside that counts.” In this instance, meaning a delicious hot beverage.

Panera’s campaign goes further to point out that, despite outward décor everywhere, the true and lasting joys of Christmas come from what we experience on the inside – time with loved ones and the meaning of the season. Not a Grinchy attitude after all.

Said Eduardo Luz, Panera Bread’s chief brand and concept officer, “Our new holiday cups send a friendly message that while we may focus on décor, gifts and holiday cards during this busy season, it’s important not to lose sight of the things that come from within—joy, family, memories, traditions and, of course, the Panera Coffee that will power you through the holidays.”

The un-artwork is created by graphic designer, Emily Zugay, who has also curated designs for Adobe, McDonald’s, and the Detroit Lions, and is known for her somewhat satirical flair that has been popularized on TikTok.

If you want to get in on the ugly coffee cup craze, you will need act quickly. Only 125 recipients get to have one of the limited edition mugs which can be found on a dedicated website. Panera continues to feature their monthly coffee subscriptions that can be gifted or purchased for your own consumption.

To see what these ugly Christmas cups are all about or to learn more about Panera’s holiday offerings and promotions, continue reading here:

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