Slotted in between items on a recent Associated Press news round-up that mentioned the impeachment inquiry into President Biden and the looming government shutdown was the report that the Oscar Meyer brand was again changing the name of its famous…vehicle.
The Wienermobile was renamed the Frankmobile only four months ago. But the meat-maker, apparently caving to pressure from the Hotdoggers—those who drive the thing and were upset by the change—has reverted the name back to Wienermobile.
Roll out the bun puns. Like, “I guess Frankmobile didn’t cut the mustard.”
Oscar Meyer, part of the The Kraft Heinz Company, said in May that the renaming was part of a campaign to honor the brand’s 100% beef franks and a new recipe. Customers, Meyer said, would taste a “more balanced flavor profile and iconic beefy taste that is more delicious than ever.”
Apparently the company was reluctant at that time to let sleeping dogs lie. That was a mistake. It didn’t detail the reasons for the change of heart this week, except to say that it “missed” the Wiener reference. Others, however, expressed the same sentiment expressed by Clark Gable to Vivien Leigh in “Gone With The Wind”: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
Maybe if Oscar Meyer executives had followed the brief, bumpy saga of the "Voltswagen" name change.
The original Wienermobile dates back to 1936, when Carl Mayer told his Uncle Oscar about a new advertising idea that was a literal marketing vehicle for the company. The original Wienermobile had an open cockpit to be driven exclusively in Chicago.
Today, Oscar Mayer maintains six of the 23-foot-long motorized sausages across the US. The custom-made fiberglass dog sits atop a lightly toasted fiberglass bun on a converted Chevrolet chassis with a 300-horsepower Vortec V8. It was designed by the General Body Company of Chicago.
Although once there was a rumor that a Tums-mobile would be built as a chase car for the Wiener, that idea never got off the back burner.