Frankenstein on Wheels: Don’t worry, Oscar Mayer came to its senses
Good news today for fans of tube-shaped meat: Following a springtime rebrand as Frankmobiles, Oscar Mayer, the Chicago-based purveyor of 100 percent beef hot dogs and other pressed meat products made from parts people don’t like to talk about, has changed the name of its classic road-going marketing machines back to Wienermobiles—the name they held for 87 years.
The name change to Frankmobiles back in May coincided with a new recipe, rumored to be made from 500 percent beef—but certainly not from people named Frank. Feeling very much like a Coke-to-New Coke moment for many connoisseurs of the classic American sandwich burrito things, the name change was a betrayal of all they held dear. Our colleague, Eric Weiner, had his own, quite understandable misgivings. Now, in a tectonic shift not seen since the clever New Coke-to-Coca-Cola Classic pivot, the Frankmobile badging is gone and the Wienermobile rides again.
“I’ve got no meat in the game,” said one local hot dog vendor who exclusively sells foot-longs and jumbos from Nathan’s, “but the universe feels whole again. Oscar’s a leader in the industry, and you can’t have this kind of confusion. It just makes folks seek out alternatives, like brats, and that’s good for nobody.”
Oscar Mayer revealed the change back to Wienermobiles in an Instagram post on September 27, where one of the vehicle’s drivers, known as a Hotdogger, called her time with the Frankmobile “franking righteous.” “But like many of you,” added another Hotdogger, “we missed our American icon.” Rarely has one person spoken so much truth for an entire nation.
Order restored, then. And if you’re keen to get your hands on one of these new 900 percent all-beef hot dogs, or you simply want to plan your vacation around seeing the coolest wieners on wheels (there are six of the 23-footers out there, after all), Oscar Mayer makes it easy.
Now, what’s for lunch?