GSD&M Goes Geriatric for Steak ‘n Shake

By Erik Oster 

GSD&M launched a comedic new campaign for fast food chain Steak ‘n Shake, starring two old friends named Percy and Walter, entitled “Done Right Since 1934.”

One of the spots promotes the chain’s 24 meals under $4 offering. When Percy claims the deal is “just like in 1934” (when the chain first launched), Walter says that can’t be right, since four dollars went a long way back then. But Percy explains that back then it wasn’t just Steak ‘n Shake, it was “Steak ‘n Shake ‘n Shoeshine ‘n Suit.”

Another spot sees Walter complaining that “You Can’t Trust Machines” and the only way to make a milkshake is with Steak ‘n Shake’s hand-dipped method. In “Homestyle Breakfast,” Percy explains where the term got its origin (in 1934, of course).

The two old guys talking about the old days and/or kids these days approach is nothing new for the fast food category. You may remember Harold and Lenny, the similarly-aged pair of complainers Deutsch utilized to promote Taco Bell’s breakfast offerings in 2014. GSD&M’s ads are not without their charm, however, as the pair do have a certain comedic chemistry. The shout-out to the chain’s origins and devotion to old-fashioned methods also provide some rationale for turning to the trope.

Client: Steak ‘n Shake
Campaign: Done Right Since 1934
Agency: GSD&M


Chief Creative Officer: Jay Russell
Group Creative Directors: Kris Wixom/Alisa Wixom
Art Director: Erin Stevens
Creative Director: Brett Baker
Director of Production: Jack Epsteen
Executive Producer: Bill Wine
Account Service: Mark Durein, Lauren Paver
Marketplace Planning: John D’Acerino, Nick Howard
Business Affairs Manager: Jillian English
Project Manager: Maria Roepke
Production Company for Video
Prod Company: Anonymous Content
Director: Joachim Back
Editor: Cartel/Andy McGraw
Food Stylist: Alyssa Sarfity
Production Company for Food
Prod Company: MacGuffin Films
Director: Kevan Bean
Stylist: Nir Adar
Sound Design: Doug Darnell/Robot Repair