H.O.S.T.E.S.S. Framework: Key To Winning Battle Among Supersonic Hair Dryers, Cup Cakes, Changing Market Landscapes

H.O.S.T.E.S.S. Framework: Key To Winning Battle Among Supersonic Hair Dryers, Cup Cakes, Changing Market Landscapes

Starting in the late 1970s, Hostess hired comic book creators to produce a series of single-page ads to promote Hostess fruit pies, cup cakes, and other desserts.

In the Hostess ad Blown About, the Human Torch’s battle against the villainous Blow Dryer provides a tasty framework for helping Product Managers navigate an ever-changing market landscape.


This article features key plot points from one of these bizarre 40-year-old comic book ads. Actually… the entirety of this bizarre 40-year-old comic book ad is pictured below. So, consider yourself warned!


Our story ad begins with Blow Dryer attempting to rob a high society party using her supersonic hair dryer.

The Human Torch happens to be flying by and notices the nefarious activity.

Our villainess selects her new target…

… and nearly snuffs out his flames!

Realizing he’s no match for her weapon, Torch pivots his approach. He reaches for the pile of Hostess Cup Cakes, left out in the sun, at this high society party.

He tosses the pastries at her, and she drops her weapon.

She’s so distracted by the chocolaty cake and icing that the Torch is able to capture her and save the day.

“I’ve Got To Get Her Hands Off That Blow Dryer…”

Product managers don’t often face off against supersonic hair dryers — but we often face situations where existing strategies or product offerings no longer align with the evolving market landscape and customer preferences, and we need to adapt.

Because the Human Torch lives in an alternate universe where everyone is head-over-heels in love with Hostess products, his solution is straightforward. No need to gather data or beta test. Just grab a fistful of Hostess cup cakes and you’re good to go.

In our reality, we need to adapt to stay relevant. But we need to be a bit more data-informed.

We need the H.O.S.T.E.S.S. Framework.

The H.O.S.T.E.S.S. Framework

When your product is no longer resonating, this delicious framework provides a proactive approach to adapt and improve:

  • H: Helpful Data – Start by collecting pertinent data: Key performance metrics, customer feedback, market trends, competitor behaviors.
  • O: Objective Analysis – Look for trends, shifts in behavior, changes in preference by audience segments.
  • S: Strategic Reconnection – Engage directly with customers to uncover insights on preferences, pain points, needs. Customer surveys can help with quantitative data. Customer workshops can provide qualitative data.
  • T: Transformative Plan – Based on insights gathered, define new objectives, key changes, updated value proposition. Be clear about your intentions and how success will be measured.
  • E: Excellent Execution – Collaborate with the team to make prioritized changes based on expected impact and feasibility.
  • S: Strategic Communication – Communicate changes to internal teams and external stakeholders. Articulate how changes align with business goals and benefit customers and users.
  • S: Systematic Measurement – Continuously gather feedback and regularly assess KPIs to track the impact of your changes. If measurements are not trending in the right direction, consider further adjustments.

By following the H.O.S.T.E.S.S. action plan, Product Managers can taste sweet success without all the extra calories.

Bonus Content

In this fan film, the voice cast dramatize another Hostess Twinkies ad starring the Human Torch, Hot Tempered Triumph:

Want more Hostess comic book ads? Check out the Indispensable Hostess Comic Ads Checklist.

New Around Here?

  • Subscribe to receive future updates.
  • Connect with me on LinkedIn.
  • Follow me on Twitter to continue the conversation!

One thought on “H.O.S.T.E.S.S. Framework: Key To Winning Battle Among Supersonic Hair Dryers, Cup Cakes, Changing Market Landscapes

Comments are closed.