Ad of the Day: Great Hair and Sound Drive Steak ‘n Shake Ads

Director flexes his Cliff Freeman muscles

Carmichael Lynch’s new campaign for Steak ’n Shake is a triumph of hair, sound and costumes.

First, the hair, specifically the feathery, blond mane of “Master,” the central character in the TV ads. It’s a cross between the wind-swept locks of Charlton Heston as Moses in The Ten Commandments and the quaffed mop of David Soul in Starsky & Hutch. Probably more Hutch than Moses, though.

Then there’s the natural sound—which ranges from the extended slurp of Master sucking up the last of a milk shake through a straw to the sizzle of a burger on a grill. The former is used for comic effect and the latter to make a series of food preparation shots more interesting. Food porn is typical for the category, but thankfully this montage comes at the end of each ad and moves fast.

Finally, the costumes, ah, the costumes. Master’s crimson robe is ridiculously baggy, like a high school senior’s at commencement, and the black top and pants of his devoted student are several sizes too small. In 30 seconds of comedy, every detail counts. And director Harold Einstein, a veteran of advertising comedy from the school of Cliff Freeman and Partners, squeezes the most out of every sight, sound and line.

The tagline to the campaign (Carmichael Lynch’s first for Steak ’n Shake since landing its creative business in the spring) is “Hunger wisely.” Well played, Master Einstein, exceptionally well played.


Client: Steak ’n Shake

Agency: Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis

Director: Harold Einstein

Audio Post: Heard City

Mixer: Keith Reynaud



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