Did Oscar Mayer Really Rename the Wienermobile?
For almost a century, the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile has been rolling through the streets of America, delighting consumers with its unique appearance. The iconic hot-dog-shaped vehicle has taken on celebrity status, with thousands of people posting pictures of themselves on social media standing next to the giant wiener.
Brand owner Kraft Heinz recently announced that for the first time since the vehicle’s inception, the Wienermobile is getting a name change, and many fans are not “relishing” the idea.
The Wienermobile gets a new name
If you see the Frankmobile on the roadways this summer, it will look the same, except for a few “bun-derful new elements.” New exterior decals will read “The All Beef Beef Frank Frankmobile.” The lucky drivers of the vehicle, which used to be named Hotdoggers, will now be referred to as “Frankfurters.”
Anyone named Frank will also be able to take advantage of the “Franks for Franks” deal, earning a coupon for a free pack of the all-new beef franks.
Is Oscar Mayer trying to avoid offending people?
According to the Daily Meal, hot dogs are commonly called wieners or frankfurters. While wieners are a mixture of pork and beef, frankfurters are made entirely with pork. But, in the United States, “franks” are typically all-beef hotdogs.
Since Oscar Mayer is showcasing a new all-beef flavor, it stands to reason that is why they are changing the name of the Wienermobile. However, the hot dog company may also be trying to be politically correct by avoiding the negative connotation of the word wiener.
The name change may have come from a desire to name the vehicle something less wiener-related. According to Dictionary.com, the word wiener can be a “euphemistic substitute for the penis,” and “calling a person a wiener (i.e., a wimp or dork) can be considered mildly offensive.”
Meanwhile, fans of the Wienermobile are expressing their outrage on Twitter, saying things such as, “The #Frankmobile?!!? Really?!!? WTF??!?? Sounds like a Millenial idea.”
One Twitter user claimed, “Wokeism just went too far,” while another questioned, “Because ‘weiner’ is too dirty?”
Despite the outrage, the general consensus was that the iconic hot dog-shaped vehicle will always be known as the Weinermobile, no matter what the company says.
How the iconic hot dog-shaped vehicle came to be
In 1936, during the Great Depression, Oscar Mayer wanted to lift the country’s spirits. The hot dog maker’s nephew, Carl G. Mayer, suggested the concept of the Wienermobile, which quickly became a national icon.
According to MotorTrend, “The first vehicle, used to advertise the company’s tubed meat product, was 13 feet long and powered by a Ford Model T engine.” Over the decades, the Wienermobile has more than doubled in size and has gone through many iterations. However, until now, the only thing that never changed was its name.
With consumer preferences moving away from processed meats, the company is attempting to rebrand itself. When asked if the name change is permanent, a spokesperson for Oscar Mayer told CNN that it’s “trying it out to see if it ‘cuts the mustard’ with its fans.”