So, Hamburger Helper dropped a mixtape
Share Now on:
Over your lunch break on Friday, you might have heard two loud booms off in the distance, like a jet breaking the sound barrier.
The first was Hamburger Helper dropping a mixtape. The second was the popular Twitter account @BrandsSayingBae imploding.
“Watch the Stove” landed on Soundcloud Friday morning. It’s five tracks long, sounds a lot like the most popular rap on the radio right now, and all the lyrics are about Hamburger Helper. This is not an April Fools joke — Or maybe it is? Is anything really knowable? I’m not sure, but the fact is these songs are very real.
Did that Future sound-alike just say “Y’all want beef and I’ma serve it”? And then: “I just dumped out that whole packet/add the powder, let it simmer/I was whippin whippin whippin/should be done in ’bout ten minutes”? Yes. Are those the instructions for making Hamburger Helper? Yep.
This all might sound horrible. When I first saw the “Watch the Stove” cover, I got flashbacks of another all-time great Soundcloud: Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol saying the brand’s messaging was “on cleek.”
But after listening a few minutes, my cube mate turned to me and said, incredulously, “why does this pop off?” Another co-worker said she was enjoying the mixtape so much, she almost forgot it was about a 45-year-old packaged food brand.
— CSG Worldwide (@iAmMrCarson) April 1, 2016
Back in 2013, General Mills retooled Hamburger Helper as simply Helper to incorporate all kinds of protein. It was still popular mostly with moms, but faced with declining sales, the brand got on social media and started targeting younger shoppers.
“The company plans to aggressively market Helper to men aged 18 to 30 over social media,” Bloomberg reported at the time. That meant making Lefty, Helper’s glove-carrying-a-spoon mascot into a struggle rapper who’s been tweeting about his mixtape for years.
The mixtape is almost ready. pic.twitter.com/KRAB7iTxpd
— Helper (@helper) October 8, 2014
So what’s the secret sauce — er, powder? I think commitment to the bit is key here. Making this tape took some doing and the Minneapolis Egotist notes Helper worked with students at McNally Smith College of Music and other artists in the Twin Cities, where General Mills is based.
Will we all forget about it by next week? Probably. But for one, glorious Friday afternoon, Hamburger Helper “on cleek’d” its way to the other side.
If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air. But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.
Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.
When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.
make public service
Thank you for doing your part!