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Wienermobile

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NAIAS 2005

A "Wienermobile" is an automobile shaped like a hot dog on a bun that is used to promote and advertise Oscar Mayer products. It was invented in 1936 by Oscar's nephew, Karl G. Mayer.

Oscar Mayer & Co. embraced new vehicles to advertise their product with the introduction of Oscar Mayer's trademark Wienermobile. The distinctive vehicles were very popular and are still used by Oscar Mayer today. Drivers of the Wienermobiles often hand out Wienerwhistles, toy replicas of the Wienermobile that double as whistles.

The Wienermobile has been a success for Oscar Mayer, proving to be a unique means of advertising and marketing. In 2004, Oscar Mayer announced a contest whereby customers could win the right to use the Wienermobile for a day. Within a month, the contest had generated over 15,000 entries.

History

The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile has evolved from Karl Mayer’s original 1936 vehicle to the current vehicles seen on the road today. Although gas rationing kept the Wienermobile off the road during World War II, in the 1950’s Oscar Mayer created several new vehicles using a Dodge chassis or a Willy’s Jeep chassis. One of these models is on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI. These Wienermobiles were piloted by "Little Oscar" who would visit stores, schools, orphanages, children's hospitals, and participate in parades and festivals. In 1969, new Wienermobiles were built upon a Chevy motor home chassis and featured Ford Thunderbird taillights. The 1969 vehicle was the first Wienermobile to travel to foreign countries. In 1988, Oscar Mayer launched its Hotdogger program, where recent college graduates were hired to drive the Wienermobile through various parts of the nation and abroad. Using a converted Chevy van chassis, Stevens Automotive Corporation built a fleet of ten Wienermobiles for the new team of Hotdoggers. In 1995, the Wienermobile grew in size to 27-feet long and 11-feet high. In 2000, the big dog was given the power of a 5700 GM VORTEC engine. The most recent version of the Wienermobile, built in 2004, has been updated to include a voice activated GPS Navigational System, an audio center with a wireless microphone, and a horn that plays the Wiener Jingle.

There are 6 Wienermobiles in existence.

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