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Marketing Lessons From The Weinermobile

Posted by: David Kiley on July 21, 2009


By Rob Strasberg
Strasberg is vice chairman and chief creative officer of Doner

Someone recently sent me the picture of a crashed Wienermobile in Wisconsin and it reminded me of my own experience driving it 18 years ago and how much a 22-foot-long wiener can teach you about marketing.

Lesson 1. I was a living, breathing brand 24/7 for an entire year. I was an Oscar Mayer Hotdogger. Who in their right mind would hand their billion dollar brand and an $80,000 motorized hot dog over to a 22-year-old right out of college? That was my first lesson - a brand is a big responsibility. Take it seriously (but not too seriously in my case – it is a Wienermobile), understand the brand, the voice, the identity, the company point of view – it was clear my collegiate toilet humor was not the brand voice.

Lesson 2. Everything is advertising. My partner and I were responsible for creating public relations, setting up events, speaking with press, working with the salespeople, talking to consumers and cooking over a grill (usually my most important duty). Our efforts consistently garnered more gross rating points than Oscar Mayer’s national ad buys and built strong field relations (ads rarely do that).

Lesson 3. Get along with your partner. A Wienermobile is not that big – make it work. Stay positive – no matter how many times your partner sings along to the Indigo Girls on the radio. Same in an agency: get along with your creative partner. When you’re young, you’ll create big ideas, and later, with your business partners, you’ll create even bigger ideas.

Lesson 4. It’s really easy to make a sexual pun, avoid them at all costs.

Lesson 5. Be prepared. Do your homework. Know your stuff. One wrong move and you could become a national joke.

Reader Comments


July 21, 2009 8:55 PM

____Everything is advertising.

Good one Very, Very good lessons, I like i!!!
by the way being national joke can be your best advertising.
Don't oversee it get along with your adwooz partner.
My the best adwooz as usual dot com


July 22, 2009 9:13 PM

We keep these valuable lessons in mind everyday!

the boys at


July 24, 2009 2:19 PM

Who knew you could learn so much from driving around in a giant Wienermobile. Goes to show you can learn lessons almost anywhere if you keep your eyes open. Great lessons listed above and it sounds like you got a lot out of your experience!
CKR Interactive Intern


July 28, 2009 6:22 PM

I have a vintage picture I took of Little Oscar poking his head out of the top hatch of the weiner. When was the last time he drove it?

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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