Can Oscar Meyer’s renamed ‘Frankmobile’ cut the mustard?
Auf wiedersehen, Wienermobile. Guten tag, Frankmobile.
No, it’s not named after Sinatra. “Frankmobile” is the brand new name of Oscar Meyer’s mobile hot dog, the unmistakable sausage-shaped motorized float that’s been teasing hungry Americans for decades.
While the company’s marketing folks have stayed true to its Germanic references — “weiner” means Vienna, and the city of Frankfurt holds that it has been making the elongated meat for more than 500 years — the brand hopes that the vehicle’s new name will suggest to dog fans that its products have been modified.
According to Kraft Heinz, Meyer’s owner, there’s a new recipe that marks the first change to Oscar Mayer’s franks in six years. Customers will soon see refreshed packaging and taste a “more balanced flavor profile and iconic beefy taste that is more delicious than ever,” according to a press release.
“While some competitors focused on having strong flavors on a few aromatics like garlic and/or onion, our team worked to balance these out while still keeping strong beef brothy notes throughout the dog,” a spokesperson told CNN. Details about the new recipe, however, remain hidden.
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 vehicles, which travel across the United States. The Frankmobile is really still the same Wienermobile as before, but now with Frankmobile branding on the bun. Including a “Please do not lick” warning, in case you were contemplating doing that. As for the Frankmobile’s specs: 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.
This past February, during the Super Bowl LVII weekend, a Wienermobile had its catalytic converter stolen. Some thief relished doing that.