UPDATE: Sept. 22: Oscar Mayer has changed the name of its iconic hotdog-shaped vehicle back to the Wienermobile after rebranding it as the Frankmobile, per an Instagram post. The marketer in May said it hadn’t “committed to an official end date” for the new name, suggesting the change might have always been intended to be a temporary one. Oscar Mayer had received some light backlash on social media over the name change.
- Oscar Mayer is rebranding its signature hotdog-shaped motor vehicle from the Wienermobile to the Frankmobile, according to a news release.
- This is the first such change for the roving, elongated vehicle since it debuted in 1936. The Kraft Heinz marketer said the overhaul promotes its all-beef frank products, which have recently switched up their recipe for a more balanced, flavorful taste.
- Changes also affect Oscar Mayer’s Wiener Whistles, which are now Frank Whistles, and Hotdogger drivers, who will be referred to as Frankfurters. As part of the rollout, Frankmobiles will dole out coupons for a free pack of hot dogs to customers who have Frank in their name.
Oscar Mayer is shaking up its hot dog strategy ahead of Memorial Day weekend, the kickoff to cookout season. Creative agency Johannes Leonardo, PR agency Zeno Group and social agency The Kitchen assisted with the effort timed to the unofficial start of summer.
A fleet of six Frankmobiles hitting the streets this week aim to raise awareness for Oscar Mayer’s reformulated 100% Beef Franks as the product lands on grocery store shelves nationwide. Meanwhile, the “Franks for Frank” giveaway looks to draw foot traffic to the eye-catching vehicles, which tour around the country and can be tracked through an interactive map on Oscar Mayer’s website. Frankmobiles come outfitted with “please do not lick” decals but are largely similar in design to the old Wienermobile, which has existed since the Great Depression.
The rebrand’s focus on natural, 100% beef ingredients could be a ploy to win back consumers who have gravitated away from processed foods, a trend that’s weighed on Oscar Mayer and parent Kraft Heinz in the past. Kraft Heinz wrote down the value of its Oscar Mayer and Kraft brands by $15.4 billion in 2019.
The pandemic helped packaged foods get a second win with more people cooking at home, though the category is now contending with managing price hikes driven by inflation. Kraft Heinz recently posted first-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street’s estimates.
Oscar Mayer’s overhaul of the Wienermobile is part of a “Keep It Oscar” brand platform that was established with Johannes Leonardo two years ago. The refresh is intended to bring greater unity to Oscar Mayer’s portfolio while focusing on light-hearted but off-the-wall marketing. In April, Oscar Mayer converted the then-Wienermobile into a wedding chapel where couples in Las Vegas could tie the knot.