GE Appliances’ Rick Hasselbeck making his hot-air rounds

By Alan Wolf, YSN

A media announcement released last week by GE Appliances suggested that the company’s chief commercial officer Rick Hasselbeck is “full of hot air.”

The news release and accompanying YouTube video described how Hasselbeck — “known for long-winded speeches and sleepy Zoom meetings that drone on and on” — personally delivered gift boxes of hot air to GE customers and held a lengthy news conference to tout it.

“When a big-shot executive from a huge company like GE Appliances shows up at your door … you think you won something. But all I got was an empty box,” consumers told the camera.

Added an unnamed national correspondent, “He kept saying things like ‘crunch without the calories’ and ‘crispy for a crowd,’ but to me the speech was full of hot air.”

But the joke was on us after grasping the press announcement’s April 1 dateline. Turns out the April Fool’s effort was a clever way to share the real news about an over-the-air software update that’s adding a no-preheat air fry feature to more than 200,000 of the company’s Wi-Fi-capable smart ranges this month.

Some sixty Café, GE Profile and Haier models are eligible for the upgrade, which, rather than delivered by Hasselbeck, is being conferred via GE’s SmartHQ app.

“We are ‘Better When Connected’ and now your oven is getting better too, with smarter cooking,” said the CCO, who last month co-hosted a “Margs with Mary & Ritas with Rick” Social Hour with marketing VP Mary Putman and AVB’s Paul Roth during Summit 21.

Related: GE Appliances’ Mary Putman Receives WIB Cornerstone Award

“We invite you to join the owners adding air fry technology to the ovens already in their homes,” added Hasselbeck. “That’s the benefit of smart appliances. Ask yourself, fry not?”

BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, furniture, mattress and CE dealers.