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She Has the Gold/Makes the Rules

Shake n’ Bake TV commercial script—

“Grandma, can I help you make your special fried chicken?” says 8-year old Sally. “If you can keep a secret…I use Shake ’n Bake now,” says her sneaky grandmother.

Sally is shocked: “You DO?”  “Sure. I’ll show you,” says Grandma.  “First we shake,” as we see a chicken breast and coating in a plastic bag. “Then we bake,” says Grandma as a pan of chicken goes in the oven.

Later, at the dinner table, Sally’s mother tastes the chicken and asks: “Mother, why isn’t my fried chicken this crispy and juicy? I want your recipe.”

Sally, apparently no good at keeping secrets, throws Grammy under the bus and blurts out, “Grandma didn’t fry it.”

“But it’s crispy like fried,” observes the dimwitted father.

Sally asks Grandma in a whisper, “Can I tell?”

It’s too late to duct tape the girl’s mouth closed, so Grandma nods her head in approval.

Highlighting her annoying southern drawl, Sally proudly announces, “It’s Shake ’n Bake — and I he-alped.”

Grandma then breaks the fourth wall to deliver the tagline: “Shake ’n Bake coating mix…it’s better than frying.”

This is how advertisers talked to women in the 1960s. Working as homemakers and secretaries and waitresses, they probably had little access to the family cash — and when they did, they rarely spent it on themselves, unless it was to buy a sweeper, an iron or a new apron for baking that faux-fried chicken.

But times have changed. Women have the gold now. They earn it, control it, and they spend it. So, the rules of marketing to women have changed, too.

How much gold do women have? Women control more than 60% of all personal wealth in the U.S. (Source: Federal Reserve) And approximately 40% of U.S. working women now out-earn their husbands. (Source: U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics)

How much gold do women spend? According to Yankelovich Monitor & Greenfield Online, women account for 85% of all consumer purchases, including 91% of new homes, 66% of PCs, 92% of vacations, 80% of healthcare, 65% of new cars, 93% of food — and women even make 46% of official NFL merchandise purchases.


Women have the money, yet some still feel like advertisers are selling like Shake ’n Bake commercials. 76% question whether most companies understand their needs as women. (Source: Entrepreneur Tracking Study, Linkage Research, 2013)

Bridget Brennan, author of Why She Buys, spent more than a decade studying the impact of women on the consumer marketplace. She outlines some recommendations for marketing to women today:

Don’t just sell your product: sell the experience of buying it. We all know how many people go to Starbucks for the experience of buying a cup of coffee that they could easily make at home.

Invest in design: Products that were once hidden under cabinets and sinks — Kleenex boxes, liquid soap, etc. — are now proudly displayed in people’s homes.

Engage the senses, because women shop with all of them. This is a major opportunity for brick-and-mortar businesses, which can also engage scent, touch and taste.

Be creative with product names. They add personality to even the most basic products and services, and help add dimension to a brand.

Demonstrate how your business makes the world a better place, even if it’s in a small way. And focus on healthy attributes when you can.

Remember, women control the gold today — so they make the rules. Make sure your marketing follows them. ##

About The Author

  • Author | George Farris
George Farris is CEO and Senior Brand Coach at Farris Marketing. Connect with George on LinkedIn using the icons above.

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