Hamburger Helper… is not bringing sexy back!

I would like to perform an experiment. Close your eyes, get comfy, clear your mind and really think about what I am about to ask you.

What words come to mind when I say Godiva Chocolat and Ciroq Vodka…perhaps sexy? Intriguing?

How about skittles or Oreo’s …fun? Maybe even young?

Ok, here’s the last one, what comes to mind when you think of Hamburger Helper? If you weren’t thinking fun and sexy  you’re not alone! This has been one major issue plaguing the company and many others that might lack some of the excitement of the aforementioned brands I listed earlier. This un-sexy problem is one that inhibited their social media growth. You see, people tend to interact with companies and brands that they find exciting, sexy, fun, or intriguing. Hamburger Helper has an image problem when it comes to Facebook the brand often goes ignored. Hamburger Helper never meant to be a sexy brand. In fact, marketers work hard to present it as a high-quality, wholesome, and a trustworthy brand. They did not anticipate that their online presence would be negatively affected by their (to put it bluntly) boring image that they themselves facilitated.

As technology has advanced the world of advertising and marketing has expanded from print media to include online platforms. According to Nielsen, consumers spend one-quarter of their online time on social media sites, Facebook accounting for a whopping 16 percent ( Sobieski, 2011). The problem is that consumers aren’t interacting with all brands only those that are appealing.  For example, Skittles has 20,831,623 fans and has several off-shoot fan pages whereas Hamburger Helper only has 9,087 with no fan pages. The company has risked putting time and money into their social media campaigns without being recognized because of their un-sexy image.

As of yet, the company has not found a way to solve this problem. Kevin Sobieski mentions one suggestion and that is to join the Superbowl advertising frenzy. It is predicted that those commercials will be watched 500 million times on the web alone generating a huge social media buzz. Of course with the expense involved this is not a feasible solution for all of the un-sexy brands out there.  Companies and brands need to find ways to connect with their consumer. For example, offering coupons and discounts are a great way to generate buzz for any brand. This is how companies like Einstein bagel have created some buzz despite their not-so-sexy reputation.

Check out the brands you follow. Are you a follower of sexy or fun brands mainly or are you the exception and interact with brand that may be considered boring?


K. Sobieski. (2011). Social Media is Taking Over. What’s a Boring Brand to do? In The Online Economy Strategy and Entrepreneurship. Retrieved February 21, 2012, from