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Sep 18, 2012 11:57 PM

Would This "Celebrity Endorsement " Get You to Buy In?

Hofmann hot dogs have been a staple favorite in Central NY; since the late 1800's. And, like a lot of regional foods, they have a "cult following" where ever CNY ex-pats congregate. They were made by a family-owned company until a couple of months ago, when they were purchased by a group of strange bed fellows. The investment group's plan is to take the brand national. Toward that end, they have hired Takeru Kobayashi, the national hot dog eating glutton...I mean champion help flog the brand. As part of the deal, he gets his own brand of hot dogs within the Hofmann brand eventually.

The deal and other details here:

This even got picked up by the HuffPost:

My question to you is this: If you had never heard of, much less tasted, a Hofmann frank (yes, they are called "franks") would Kobayashi's endorsement sway you to try them? Or would it have the opposite effect? No effect at all?

If a Hofmann hot dog store opened near you would you go there?

Lastly, would you buy Kobayashi brand hot dogs?

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  1. To answer questions 1 and 3, absolutely not. I find the whole stuff yourself as fast as you can notion absolutely repugnant, right up with binge drinking. So, as far as question 2 goes, I probably wouldn't, except for the fact that I live in CNY, and know them to be a good thing. I hope this doesn't change.

          1. re: mangiare24

            They look like little fence posts. :-)

      1. Are those the white hot dogs? My great aunt, who lives near Syracuse, insists on bringing them to every family reunion. We all think they are nasty. It's kind of a family joke now.
        So... I have heard of them, have tasted them. and NO Kobayashi's endorsement would not entice me to eat them. In fact it would have the opposite effect probably (If I hadn't had them)... I question the taste level of someone whose main focus is to cram as much as possible in at once.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jujuthomas

          Are those the white hot dogs?
          They make the white ones ("Coneys") which are indeed nasty, and the normal colored "franks" which are great.

        2. Very few celebrity endorsements motivate me to do anything, ever. I don't know why this should be different.

          1. No to all of your questions. When a celebrity gets paid to promote a product, it's just shilling. Ditto for celebrities that put their names on products, like celebrity-branded cookware, which is no better than, and often inferior to, other cookware you can buy. However, I don't think that CHers are representative of the public at large. As a group, we are more thoughtful and analytic about food purchases. I'm sure that plenty of people buy Activia yogurt because Jamie Lee Curtis's commercials on TV preach endlessly how wonderful it is.

            I might question how much of a celebrity Takeru Kobayashi is. He's well known to a certain group of people who follow eating contests, but he's hardly a household name.