As Oscar Mayer's Wienerfleet expands, so do its hot dog sales

Greg Guidotti, head of marketing at Oscar Mayer, shares results from the brand's For the Love of Hot Dogs campaign.

Company: Oscar Mayer
Campaign: For the Love of Hot Dogs
Agency mix: Olson Engage (PR), McGarryBowen (advertising, digital), Starcom MediaVest Group (media)
Duration: May - September 2017
Budget: Total spend was double 2016 levels

Oscar Mayer took its famous Wienerfleet around the globe to get the word out about the brand's new hot dog recipe.

As part of Oscar Mayer’s efforts, its fleet expanded from just the Wienermobile, to include two new hot dog-themed vehicles.

Strategy
The brand began planning for the campaign more than a year ago.

"The challenge was clear: consumers loved Oscar Mayer hot dogs, but they were buying them less as they were concerned about some of the ingredients," explained Greg Guidotti, head of marketing at Oscar Mayer

After more than a year of research, Oscar Mayer decided to remove added nitrates, nitrites, and artificial preservatives from all hot dog products. The goals of the campaign were to get word out to consumers and media about the new recipe change, create compelling digital content which would elevate the story, and drive sales.

A key vehicle for the campaign was the iconic Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, which was deployed as a major source of content and engagement. The brand, with help from PR agency partner, Olson Engage, looked to send Wienermobiles to unprecedented destinations.

"We wanted to prove how we’d go to great lengths to put a better hot dog in people’s hands," said Guidotti.

In addition to drawing feature coverage from national outlets, the brand also wanted to make a splash on social media. The hashtag #ForTheLoveOfHotDogs was developed to go along with the campaign.

Tactics
On May 1, the brand put two Wienermobiles on a barge and transported them to give out free hot dogs for opening day of Governors Island in New York City. The brand used social platforms to help announce the event. The barge was intended to and succeeded in garnering the attention of New Yorkers and New York media.

The same day, Oscar Mayer launched a national advertising campaign and a media outreach strategy focused on national news, business, and food outlets. The brand also released a video of a Wienermobile making a trip to Whittier, Alaska.

Oscar Mayer’s social channels posted short-form content and encouraged fans to engage with the brand using the campaign hashtag. The brand also made a deal with Twitter to put a Wienermobile emoji in tweets that used the hashtag.

In late June, the brand released a video on YouTube showing off two new vehicles: The WienerDrone and the WienerCycle.

"We also had an event around July 4 in Weiner, Arkansas, where we sampled hot dogs and got to introduce the new additions to the Wienerfleet," said Guidotti.

Paid advertising and social content about the campaign will continue through September.

Results
For the May 1 launch, national outlets such as Fortune, Forbes, Bon Appetit, Delish and Chicago Tribune ran feature stories on the campaign. The campaign was covered in a total of more than 1,500 outlets.

The campaign hashtag #ForTheLoveOfHotDogs was used more than 8,800 times across social platforms.

On YouTube, the video of the Wienermobile's Alaska journey received more than 7.2 million views. The video showing off the expanded Wienerfleet was viewed upwards of 1.7 million times.

As of June, Oscar Mayer hot dog sales had risen 3.4% since the campaign’s May 1 kickoff.

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