The Twitter campaign capitalizes upon the popularity of Wienermobiles, as well as Super Bowl advertising, and is meant to drum up intrigue among consumers excited about big game ads, without actually advertising in the Super Bowl.
Fans of meat and cold cut company Oscar Mayer who have long been singing, "I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener," can now sing, "I wish I had an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile."
That's because the brand's famed hot dog on wheels is available to Twitter users for a lease of sorts, which Oscar Mayer says "is the first time ever a vehicle of any kind is available for lease exclusively through Twitter."
From January 23 to February 7, consumers can enter for a chance to lease the Wienermobile for one eight-hour day by using the hashtag #Tweet2Lease on Twitter.
"One lucky winner will receive hands-on access to the Wienermobile, with the vehicle's drivers, known as Hotdoggers, serving as personal chauffeurs," Oscar Mayer says.
The brand also says it will select a winner at random and contact them to coordinate a lease date. In addition to the lease, the #Tweet2Lease winner will also receive a $500 cash prize.
"We thought Twitter was the right avenue -- it's easy, it's absolutely where a lot of consumers are, and it's just plain old funny that the first launch ever [of a vehicle for lease] is the Wienermobile," says Tom Bick, senior director of integrated marketing and advertising at Oscar Mayer.
The idea behind the campaign comes from the notion that "we're sitting on a goldmine with six Wienermobiles, the 27-foot-long hot dogs that roam country and are some of our strongest assets," Bick says. "They're constantly in social media and we wanted to take the power of that and harness it and have fun."
In addition to six 27-foot Wienermobiles, Madison, Wisconsin-based Oscar Mayer's fleet also includes a smaller Wienermobile on a Mini Cooper chassis that the brand retains locally, Bick says. The Wienermobile has been part of Oscar Mayer advertising since 1936.
Bick says the brand was "trying to find an idea that could really take it to the next level and be playful...and hopefully get disproportionate popularity because we know the big game is coming down the pike and people are more in tune with what's going on in advertising."
In other words, Oscar Mayer wanted to use its Wienermobile in a clever way in social media leading up to the Super Bowl.
"While we don't sell Wienermobiles, a lot of people wish we did," Bick says. "They love these vehicles. About half of our social posts are around the Wienermobile. We can't sell them, but we can have some fun with it and create the #Tweet2Lease program."
The promotion includes a 45-second video with a tongue-in-cheek car commercial on YouTube.
As of January 27, the video has more than 2.4 million views.
While the video touts the 2014 Wienermobile, it is actually a circa 2012 model, Bick says. He notes, however, the spirit of the campaign is new.
The launch was teased on Twitter by car magazine Motor Trend with a picture of the Wienermobile's taillight.
This led to what Bick says was "tremendous speculation."
@MotorTrend's initial post was retweeted 550 times and favorited almost 1,200 times.
Motor Trend then followed up two days later with the big reveal, which was also on Twitter.
Prior to the reveal, auto site Jalopnik chimed in on Twitter with a (correct) guess.
According to Bick, "The idea behind it was to start with a credible source for car launches and to tap into that fervor for new vehicles and excitement."
He says the Motor Trend partnership was important because it's "really a social-driven campaign and we're trying to amplify it as much as possible without TV."
Oscar Mayer has 882,000 likes and has 9,100 followers; @Wienermobile has more than 9,600 followers.
Oscar Mayer is a Kraft Foods Group brand.
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
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