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Steak ’n Shake Talks Through Its Hat in New Ads

Filed under Advertising, Marketing, Menu

To say someone is talking through their hat used to be an insult, meaning they didn’t know what they were talking about. But Steak ‘n Shake gives the idiom a different spin in new TV spots that feature a talking hat. 

The chain may know what it’s talking about but it doesn’t have anything to say. Nothing new at least. And the hat doesn’t even get a cute name: the fellow who wears and speaks with his talking diner-style hat is named Mike but he calls his hat just that, “Hat.” Opportunity missed. Even more disappointing is that the commercials don’t announce any new menu items or promotions; even the “Life needs flavor” tagline is old.

One spot trumpets Steak ‘n Shake’s “Half-price happy hour” offer that halves beverage prices (even shakes) between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. daily. Another commercial promotes the “4 meals under $4” deals that the chain has touted for nearly a year.

Although you wouldn’t know it from the TV spots, Steak ‘n Shake actually has been fairly busy in the kitchen. In addition to the new Bacon ‘n Bleu Steakburger it recently added, the chain has introduced new salads (Southwest Chicken and Apple Walnut Harvest), grilled chicken sandwiches (in the Spicy Chipotle and Guacamole styles used for steakburgers) and Kool-Aid Shakes.

4 Responses to Steak ’n Shake Talks Through Its Hat in New Ads

  1. GonzoGal

    There’s something disturbingly old-fashioned about this whole approach. Creepy.

  2. SOOO CREEEEPY i get scared when i see it

  3. david mcavetz

    Get rid of the hat the ad is lame

  4. Jim Lucas

    I am a former Indianapolis resident now living in CA.
    I would like to get one of the hats Steak ‘n Shake servers wear or at least have worn in the past. If I could get one of the kind that were worn when S&S hired only boys to be car-hops, that would be even better. Can you help me out here?

    Thanks Jim Lucas