Shake 'n Bake: Positioning an Old-School CPG Brand for the Future 

THE ASSIGNMENT  Refresh the Shake 'n Bake brand. Rethink product design and purpose.

BRAND CONTEXT In the early 1960’s, KFC was sweeping the nation and housewives were trying to mimic the taste of fried chicken at home. But for many, especially outside the South, frying was a foreign and intimidating task. Shake 'N Bake introduced a way to help people cook crispy, tasty chicken at home without the mess and hassle of frying, but is now in desperate need of a new purpose relevant for today's convenience-oriented consumer and a refreshed brand image to match (as you can tell by the images below).


PROBLEM As the routine for Americans increasingly became convenient solutions like drive-thru meals, frozen meals, and prepared grocery meals as opposed to good ol' home cooking, so many people have either forgotten the satisfaction of making a meal or lack the culinary know-how to get the job done. The current Shake n' Bake product doesn't inspire consumers to get back in the kitchen.

TARGET New parents, age 22-39 who are struggling to balance family obligations and a hectic work schedule. Many of these people express an interest in learning to cook better, but lack the confidence, knowledge, and time to take the next step. 

METHODOLOGY Quantitative & qualitative secondary research, social scour for Shake 'n Bake mentions, store visits, interviews with young parents.

FINDINGS Young parents view cooking as a difficult challenge, as something relegated to the foodies and chefs of the world. They've become soft in the face of endless, more convenient alternatives to home cooking.

POSITIONING The champion of those intimidated by home cooking.

STRATEGY A gateway to better cooking.


  • Branding: The new Shake 'n Bake is defined by a more unique and homemade aesthetic, with personality injected into each individual flavor.

  • Packaging: The new design cuts down on excess packaging, makes it easier to apply the mix, and extends the value of the product beyond a single use by using resealable technology. The spices and ingredients are separated to help educate novice cooks about how each part of the recipe contributes to the taste.

  • Product Line Extension: A line of marinades is another product to help educate and empower novice cookers outside of the traditional breading product.


  • Island displays in the frozen food aisle, and cards in the prepared foods aisle with an encouraging voice empower shopppers to consider cooking instead of the frozen food and microwave routine.  Brown paper bags will bring the brand's manifesto out of the store and into homes.


  • Billboards placed near commercial centers with grocery stores allow us to reach people driving to and from errands while they're thinking about what's for dinner.


Print ads in popular parenting magazines will reach young and busy parents, removing the intimidation and complexity out of cooking in the kitchen. 


Overall Strategy: Mobile animated ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat using paid, earned, and owned media proclaim to overwhelmed parents that anyone can succeed in cooking a home-made meal with Shake 'n Bake, reinforcing the failure-proof cooking theme and engaging current fans and future Shake 'N Bake-rs to share their successes.


  • Use of promoted posts, sponsor celebrity/influencers who are self-proclaimed "bad cooks" to post videos of themselves Shake 'N Bake-ing, Instagram & Facebook carousel with step-by step instructions for Shake N' Bake optimized for clicks through to Shake 'N Bake microsite with self-proclaimed "bad cooks" succeeding with Shake 'N Bake
  • Paid ads in partnership with "Worst Cooks in America" Show
  • Guest/influencer bloggers with content on cooking basics and fool-proof cooking tips

Earned: Encourage fans of the Facebook page and followers on Instagram to share photo/video of their kids Shake 'N Bake-ing: #ItsThatEasy
Owned: Blog posts, videos of celebrity/influencer Shake N'Bakers, sharing/reposting of User Generated Content


  • 22-39, with kids
  • Fans of fast food chains on Facebook (McDonalds, Wendy's, Burger King, Arby's)
  • Lower to mid-income range
  • Fans of "Worst Cooks in America"


  • Clicks from carousel & promoted posts
  • Post engagements (likes, video views, comments)
  • @user tags in comments
  • Hashtag use
  • Engagements
  • Consumption breakdown
  • New page likes vs. Unlikes 



TEAM Greg Donnelly (ST)Anne Marie Wonder (AD)Shannon Smith (AD)Scott Lucien (CW)Emily Reese (CT)

AWARD Silver Cannonball, The Richmond Ad Show (Student Show), Integrated Marketing, 2016