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The toll-free number is operational for only 24 hours.

Mike Pomranz
November 01, 2018

Once posed as a genuine head-scratcher, the question “Is a hot dog a sandwich?” has come to embody the kind of instantly-yet-unnecessarily polarizing debate that typifies the internet age. The question — which Know Your Meme suggests has been bouncing around online since at least 2011 — now acts more as a signpost for conversation than any sort of actual fact-finding mission: Consider it the virtual version of yesteryear’s “Do you come here often?” With the merits of a hot dog’s sandwichhood having been fully investigated for years now, the answer is practically irrelevant.

And yet posing the question does work as a great conversation starter, so it’s no surprise that America’s biggest name in hot dogs — Oscar Mayer — has decided the inquiry is still culturally-relevant enough to coopt for a marketing campaign.

Today — in honor of National Sandwich Day which takes place this Saturday — Oscar Mayer has officially declared a hot dog is a sandwich and is encouraging you to voice your opinions the old-fashioned way: with a phone call. Launching at 9 a.m. this morning and staying open for the next 24 hours is an official Oscar Mayer “Is a Hot Dog a Sandwich?” toll-free hotline: 1-833-SNDWICH. The hot dog brand says the hotline is intended “to give hot dog lovers the chance to change its mind …or lend their support for America’s favorite sandwich.”

Courtesy of Oscar Mayer

Calling any sort of hotline is certainly a throwback, and callers are immediately greeted with another piece of nostalgia: the Oscar Mayer Wiener Jingle. You’re then told that by leaving a message, though you will remain anonymous, you are giving Oscar Mayer the rights to use said message however it likes — including, ironically enough, on Twitter.

Overall, if you’re looking for some nostalgia — be it the 2015 nostalgia of debating whether a hot dog is a sandwich, the ‘80s nostalgia of calling an automated hotline, or 1936 nostalgia of hearing the Oscar Mayer Wiener jingle — this whole thing might seem like fun exercise. Or maybe you’ve always dreamed of having your words immortalized on Oscar Mayer’s Twitter feed? But at the same time, it's 2018: If you really feel any sort of way about a hot dog being a sandwich, why not just cut out the middleman and tweet about it yourself? That’s what everyone else has done.

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