mcgarrybowen campaign lets the hot dogs out

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Hot on the heels of Kraft Heinz’s removal of all questionable ingredients from their Oscar Mayer hot dog line — including nitrates, nitrites, by-products and other artificial preservatives — the food giant has launched a new ad campaign via mcgarrybowen, Chicago.

The goal: to get every American, from coast-to-coast, to try their new signature product. Dubbed For the Love of Hot Dogs, the campaign, which began May 1, was developed to reignite interest in the official food of summer.

From the Statue of Liberty to the remote town of Whittier, Alaska, the campaign, which encompasses broadcast, print, digital and social ads, represents a summer-long celebration and an answer to consumer pleas for healthier versions of their favorite foods. The company spent a little over a year reinventing and perfecting the new recipe.

In an interview in Fortune Magazine, Oscar Mayer, head of marketing Greg Guidotti, had this to say, “Oscar Mayer is America’s most iconic hot dog brand, and, as the equity leader, we felt it was time to take a stand for the love of a better hot dog.” He added that, “we heard from hot dog fans across the country that they wanted a hot dog without artificial preservatives in meat or added nitrates and nitrites – all without compromising on the great Oscar Mayer taste they know and love.”

Legacy brands, such as Oscar Mayer, are being pressured more and more by consumers to remove artificial preservatives given increasing evidence that consuming processed meats in large quantities is associated with a higher risk of cancer. Cheerios, Quaker Oats, Diet Pepsi and other brands have all undergone food makeovers in order to appeal to this younger health-conscious shopper.

According to research firm Euromonitor, Oscar Mayer is the U.S. market leader in both the processed meat and chilled processed red meat categories. It competes aggressively in the category with the Tyson, which just last month announced they were removing nitrites and nitrates from their Ball Park beef brand, and Hillshire Farm brands, both owned by Tyson Foods as well as Hormel Foods and privately held Johnsonville.

The campaign, which launched May 1, features a fleet of the infamous Wienermobiles, driven by a team of “Hot Doggers” visiting various locations in America and delivering hot dogs. mcgarrybowen produced a 2.5-minute video about the Wienermobile trudging through dangerous conditions to reach the town of Whittier, and delivering hot dogs to a very receptive crowd.

In an interview in The Drum, Oscar Mayer Director of Brand Building, Whitney Shaw, described the lengths the company is going to get people to taste the new dog, “We’re putting the Wienermobile on-water in New York Harbor for the first time, visiting remote towns outside the contiguous United States, and empowering the Wienermobile drivers to make as many off-the-beaten-path stops as they can make. We’re doing it all for the love of hot dogs.”

The “Hot Doggers” will continue to be on the lookout all summer for special opportunities and events to give America a taste. Fans are being encouraged to use the hashtag #ForTheLoveOfHotDogs to tell the Wienermobile teams where to go next.

Since Chicago is the hot dog capitol of America, one can only hope there will be a Wienermobile coming down Michigan Avenue soon.

Video Credits: Whittier, Alaska

• Ned Crowley – US Chief Creative Officer

• Kurt Fries – Executive Creative Director

• Kevin Thoem – Group Creative Director

• Lee Remias – Group Creative Director

• Tom Smith – Group Managing Director

• Randi Schwieger – Account Director

• Emma Cullis – Account Executive

• Steve Ross – Content Production Director

• Sara Martin – Producer

• Dianne Lee – Editor

Color: Company 3

• Colorist: Tyler Roth

• Assistant Colorist: Parker Jarvie

DI Producer: Joanna Woods

Cinema Libertad:

Robert Stockwell – Director

TV credits: For the Love of Hot Dogs

• Ned Crowley – US Chief Creative Officer

• Kurt Fries – Executive Creative Director

• Kevin Thoem – Group Creative Director

• Lee Remias – Group Creative Director

• Tom Smith – Group Managing Director

• Randi Schwieger – Account Director

• Emma Cullis – Account Executive

• Arika Jeter – Assistant Account Executive

• Shawna Ross – Executive Director, Strategy

• Jemilly Castro – Strategy Director

• Corthay Shock – Associate Strategist

Editorial: Beast

• Editor: Doug Walker

• Assistant Editor: Bryan Simpson

Finish: Method Studios

• Flame Artist: Ryan Wood

Design: Method Design

• Creative Director: Brett Glover

• Designers: Beau Wright & Tobi Mattner

• Post Producer: Joel Signer

LA-Based Colin Costello writes for film, TV, advertising and of course, Reel Chicago. Follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.

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