Wienerschnitzel looks to college students to elevate the image of the hot dog
The World’s Largest Hot Dog chain, with 340 locally owned restaurants in 11 states, is reaching out to America’s future advertising and marketing leaders to help it improve public perceptions of the hot dog.
Announced last month by the American Advertising Federation (AAF) as the official corporate sponsor of its 2019 National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC), Irvine, Calif.-based Wienerschnitzel revealed the unique marketing challenge it will be giving the more than 2,000 advertising students participating in next year’s competition at more than 150 U.S. colleges and universities nationwide.
According to Doug Koegeboehn, Wienerschnitzel’s chief marketing officer, instead of the usual NSAC assignment to increase sales or market share for a specific brand or business, Wienerschnitzel is using its partnership with AAF to elevate consumer perceptions surrounding one of America’s favorite foods: the hot dog.
“Hot dogs are universally beloved – but most people simply don’t know about the quality ingredients and time-honored traditions that go into making them,” said Koegeboehn. “In fact, more and more chefs today are even considering them ‘epicurean.’
“For example, while a hamburger is just ground beef, this is where the fun and attention to detail starts with a hot dog. The ground beef is cold-processed and seasoned with herbs and spices before a special emulsification process gives it the iconic ‘hot dog’ shape we all know and love. The hot dogs are then carefully smoked over maple and other hard woods to give them their distinctive taste, It’s a process that few, if any, of the most ardent home cooks could ever replicate at home.
“Strengthening public perceptions about the hot dog will improve our business and elevate the entire hot dog industry, and we’re looking forward to seeing how the student teams tackle the challenge.”
Wienerschnitzel joins previous sponsors Nissan, Snapple, Yahoo! and others to provide a “real-world” marketing challenge to advertising and marketing students who develop and pitch an integrated campaign to a panel of industry judges.
The challenge brief is being distributed to schools this month, with regional competitions kicking off in April 2019 and the top student teams in each of 15 districts moving on to the semifinals in May 2019. The final eight teams will compete at the NSAC finals, held in conjunction with the AAF’s annual ADAMERICA conference, in June 2019 in Hollywood, Fla.