In the world of experiential, the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile is the OG.
On the road since 1936, having undergone nearly a dozen upgrades over the years, it remains an iconic, versatile and viral marketing vehicle for the hot dog, bacon and deli-meats brand. Six Wienermobiles are on the road across the country at any given time of year, and for consumers lucky enough to spot one, it’s often a once-in-a-lifetime moment—whether they like hot dogs or not.
You may be interested to learn that Oscar Mayer doesn’t sample from these vehicles; a sampling trailer accompanies them when needed. Instead, these 27-foot-long hot dogs on wheels are a big, juicy awareness play that is all about generating buzz and making consumers smile. And the special people who drive the Wienermobiles help feed that awareness.
You Might Also Like:
- Adult Swim’s Rickmobile is a Traveling Pop-Up Shop
- Wilson’s Mobile Museum Offers Consumers an Intimate Look Inside the Football
Thirty-two years ago, Oscar Mayer created the Hotdogger program, where recent college graduates apply to be among an elite team of 12 selected to pair up and operate a Wienermobile on a one-year contract. This year, Oscar Mayer received a record-breaking number of applications: 6,000—far above and beyond the 1,000 applications that typically come in.
Clearly, the Wienermobile program has some sizzling staying power. So, we sat down with Edwin Roland, senior experiential marketing manager for Oscar Mayer at Kraft-Heinz, for tips on building and sustaining legacy programs, the value they bring to brands, how Oscar Mayer keeps the Wienermobile program fresh and, most importantly, what goes into selecting the best BAs in the biz.
Tip #1: Identify a champion
It helps to have a longstanding champion of a program who has years of experience under their belt. This may also require a succession plan, developing and fostering talent so that people can rise through the ranks, continue the legacy of the program and help grow it with care.
“You have to have the ability to stick with it. You have to have a champion of the program that will fight as new brand people rotate through the system to keep the program top of mind and demonstrate the value of the program and demonstrate the flexibility of the program and how it can morph for today’s needs,” Roland says.
Tip #2: Think about flexibility
The Wienermobile concept transcends audiences and demographics, and it can easily meet the strategic needs of new marketing messaging and campaigns. In 2017, Oscar Mayer unveiled its “Put a better hot dog in every hand” campaign, which was all about traveling the country to educate consumers on its improved hot dogs made with no nitrates, nitrites, artificial preservatives or animal byproducts.
Oscar Mayer took that new slogan to new heights by expanding its WienerFleet, announcing its new WienerCycle and WienerDrone at a Fourth of July celebration in Weiner, AK. The Wienermobile also floated into New York Harbor on a barge where it passed the Statue of Liberty and docked at Governors Island. A …read more