- Organic meat company Applegate launched a social media campaign this week to promote its "Cleaner Wiener" hot dogs, made from non-GMO grass-fed beef, ahead of National Hot Dog Day on July 18, according to a press release shared with Marketing Dive.
- Each of the 10 videos in the campaign features a "dirty dog" — a man dressed in a hot dog costume purposely annoying people, such as stealing lunches from the office fridge or "man-spreading" on the subway. The videos end with the tagline: "Tired of dirty dogs? Try the Cleaner Wiener."
- The campaign was inspired by an Applegate survey that says 43% of Americans are scared to learn what hot dogs are made of, and more than a third avoid eating the product altogether because they think it contains low-quality meat, artificial ingredients and chemicals. Millennials avoid hot dogs more than any other age group, per the study, with 24% reporting that they never buy hot dogs.
Applegate's "Cleaner Weiner" campaign is timely with the release just days ahead of the Fourth of July, its strong tie-in to National Hot Dog day and the broader summer season that's often associated with cookouts and sporting events.
In the 10 video spots, the Hormel-owned brand aims to connect with consumers in a lighthearted manner through humor, in the form of a costume-clad man behaving obnoxiously in ways that most people can relate to. At the same time, Applegate's campaign plays up the fear factor by citing internal research that shows nearly half of American adults are nervous to learn what's in their hot dogs and making the point that its "cleaner wieners" are superior to competitors and can be trusted.
Applegate's research makes a point to focus on millennials' lack of hot dog-buying. By running a quirky video campaign on social media, where many millennials spend their time, Applegate is clearly targeting this age group by meeting them where they already are, potentially boosting the reach of the meat brand's message.
Applegate's video-focused effort comes as the industry continues to see more brands investing in online video to drive social media engagement and shareability. Companies were projected to spend two times more on digital video than TV advertising in 2017, according to Magisto research, and 60% of businesses are spending more than 25% of their marketing budgets on producing video content. Mobile is driving more marketers to experiment with shorter-form video to reach massive on-the-go audiences across platforms. Shorter-form videos designed specifically for social media are typically less costly than highly produced TV spots.