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

By Mike Pomranz
Updated November 01, 2018
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Credit: ncognet0/Getty Images

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.”

Credit: 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.