The Richards Group Launches 1st TV Campaign for Dave’s Killer Bread | Cult Mascot Comes to Life
The Richards Group recently produced three special effect-driven spots for the cult favorite Dave’s Killer Bread. The spots animate the tough-guy, hair-flowing-guitar-strumming mascot on the bread package encouraging grocery shoppers to choose the bread. In addition, the campaign includes unique OOH billboards and murals that position the brand’s character with guitars and amplifiers, complimenting the campaigns tagline, “Bread, amplified.”
Julia Melle, Creative Group Head at Richards, told AdChat DFW, “We won the Flowers Foods (Nature’s Own, Wonder and Tastykake) business in 2018. This trusted relationship we built with our clients helped us earn the Dave’s Killer Bread business in August of 2020.
“Dave’s has never done TV before. There has been some social, digital and OOH in limited markets. Despite being the organic category leader, with nationwide distribution, few people were able to name Dave’s. So, we needed to officially introduce Dave’s Killer Bread to people and catapult the brand into a beloved household name nationwide. That said, we are taking steps before launching nationally so our focus is in the Northeast and California for this launch.
“Dave’s Killer Bread is all about breaking the rules for good. They don’t stop until they get to great – even if it bucks the norm. Which is why every one of their products is hearty; flavorful; non-GMO; and full of protein, fiber, and whole grains. The brand never wants to fall among the boring organic breads – they are committed to delivering killer taste and nutrition. Rooted in purpose, Dave’s Killer Bread also breaks the rules of societal norms by championing Second Chance Employment of people with criminal backgrounds and educates other companies on these hiring principles. So our job was to help the brand become a household name and help health-conscious consumers understand they don’t have to choose a boring organic bread — they can choose Dave’s and have it all – nutrition, taste and rebel-with-a-conscience attitude they respect. “
Ron Henderson, Group Creative Head at Richards, added, “Dave’s Killer Bread is one of those brands that the creative folks (and the whole team for that matter) can’t wait to get their hands on. It’s a superior product with the best name in the bread aisle, a marvelously quirky logo, a client with a history of breaking the rules, and a need to build awareness.
“I have to say, the moment I saw that logo it was love at first sight. It was bold and beautiful and wonderfully weird – the perfect complement to such a premium product (kind of like wrapping an Omega watch in R. Crumb gift wrap.)
“Typically, the client would be asking the agency to make a bigger deal out of the logo. In this case, however, we were begging them to make the guitar-wielding Dave logo the front man for the new campaign. We wanted to make some noise in the bread aisle, so we set about plugging in Dave’s electric guitar to let the world know this isn’t just bread – it’s bread, amplified.
“On billboards, we created long cables that connect the logo’s guitar to 10-foot-tall amps. For TV and digital videos, Shindig (the music production company we used), found one of the country’s top guitarists to perform the guitar solos, then we had The Mill in L.A. animate the logo to the tracks. To add an extra touch of authenticity to the guitar playing, we recorded video of our studio guitarist during the recording sessions so The Mill could match the animation to the real hand and finger positions. Even though The Mill is one of the premiere VFX houses on the planet, we never wanted the animation to look too slick but instead stay true to the rather simple illustrated Dave’s Killer Bread logo. Occasionally, we had them give Dave some subtle “guitar face” moments during the solo, but we tried not to take too many liberties with the original design and physical quality of the logo.
“The recordings were done at The Village in L.A. The live-action scenes were directed by Harold Einstein of Dummy Films, a seasoned comedy director known for his work on Geico, Little Caesar’s and a long list of memorable campaigns. Harold was also very instrumental in developing the overall approach and shooting style for the TV spots, which kept the focus on our guitar-playing logo, never getting upstaged by double-takes or cutaways. The food photography was done by director Tom Ryan of Lucky 21.
Dave’s Killer Bread based in Milwaukie, Oregon, was founded in 2005 by Dave Dahl, a former meth addict and convict, who learned the baking trade growing up in his family bakery. After 15 years in prison, a rehabilitated Dahl returned to his family business, with the desire to make the bakery the best it could be.
He perfected what he called the best loaf of bread and named it Dave’s Killer Bread, marketing it to the local farmers markets, and the brand took off from there. Dave’s Killer Bread specializes in making bread with seeds and whole grains, including spelt and sprouted wheat free of animal products and chemical additives. The company has steadily grown, expanding from 30 employees to more than 300 by 2012 and the story has been covered by many media outlets. In 2015, Dave’s Killer Bread was purchased by Flower Foods for $275 million, with Dahl reportedly receiving $33 million in the sales.
CEO: Glenn Dady
CCO: Sue Batterton
Group Creative Directors: Terence Reynolds and Julia Melle
Writer: Ron Henderson
Art Directors: Mike Latour and Tim Eger
Principal: Dale Hruby
Group Account Director: Jennifer Prieto
Supervisor: Alina Garcia
Strategy Director: Kelly Piland
Strategy Director: Anna Scott Phillips
Sr. Strategist: Kelsey Damon
Broadcast Producer: Jenny Wolk
Print Producer: Karen Newman
Director: Harold Einstein
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