Wave Goodbye to Hamburger Helper, Or At Least the Hamburger Part

The General Mills marketing department is lending Hamburger Helper a hand with a new makeover targeting men aged 18 to 30 who are on social media.

The strategy behind revamping the outdated brand is to grow it beyond the “Career Mom” demographic further into the young adult male demographic while also dropping specific references to any particular meat which—from a contemporary sales perspective—is too limiting. From now on it’s just going to be “Helper” which, well, certainly accomplishes the stated objective of not being limiting.

What didn’t go out of style was Lefty, the four-fingered mascot glove incapable of gesturing to others what they can do to themselves. (Let’s just hope Lefty can’t type or isn’t as impulsive as some NFL players who have recently been on Twitter.) From a PR perspective this marks a compelling update to a brand many of us have known all of our lives—deliciously coinciding with the news that Twinkies are back as well.

This story is why we love public relations. Society changes. Cultural dynamics evolve and someone—PR pros, we like to think—must be at the forefront of these changes to make sense of them and advise well-meaning companies on how to navigate the complexities of public perception. This strikes us as a sound move.

From a prolonged economic recession to the burden of overwhelming student loans, Millennials—and well, most regular folks for that matter—have had a tough time making ends meet. This is a great opportunity form Hamburger Helper to reach new customers who are trying to feed themselves and their families without breaking the bank. So whether it’s hamburger, chicken or tuna, Helper, from a PR perspective, this strategy is food for thought.