Oscar Mayer Is Changing the Name of the Wienermobile

Will hot dog fans flock to 'The Frankmobile?'

In 1936, Carl Mayer, the nephew of hot dog impresario Oscar Mayer, suggested that the company could promote its “German-style Wieners” by designing and developing a vehicle that was shaped like one of those now-iconic sausages. The more-famous Mayer agreed, and the first 13-foot, all-metal Wienermobile debuted in Chicago later that year.

“The Wienermobile hit the streets of Chicago as a sales tool to fairs, festivals, and parades, sparking smiles,” Ed Roland, the Wienermobile’s senior manager of brand communications, told Dieline last year. "The Wienermobile is in line with the essence of Oscar Mayer. When the Wienermobile program started, it was a tough time during the Great Depression. People needed something to bring a little joy to their lives. And that's sort of what Carl thought; this was something that could make people smile and brighten their day in some tough times. And we've been around ever since.”

Oscar Mayer Frankmobile

Courtesy of Oscar Mayer

The vehicle has gone through a number of changes, upgrades, and adaptations over the past 87 years (including a WienerCycle and WienerDrone), but one thing has remained constant. Ever since the giant drivable ‘dog had a name, it’s been referred to as “The Wienermobile”... until now.

Oscar Mayer announced today that it is changing the vehicle’s name for the first time ever, re-christening it as “The Frankmobile” in honor of its new-recipe all-beef franks. The company is deploying a fleet of six renamed Frankmobiles this week, and they’re now being piloted by “Frankfurters” instead of Hotdoggers.

Don’t worry, though: the motorized meat still looks almost the same, save for the name “Frankmobile” between its headlights and a decal on its, er, buns that reads “The All-Beef Frank Frankmobile” and “Please do not lick the All-Beef Beef Frankmobile.” (And the Frankmobile still wears the same customized license plates as its predecessor, including “IWSHIWR,” a reference to Oscar Mayer’s classic earworm of a jingle.)

“The Wienermobile is a beloved American icon that has been sparking smiles and driving craveability for our iconic delicious wieners for nearly 100 years,” Stephanie Vance, Associate Brand Manager, Oscar Mayer, said in a statement. “This summer, it’s time to highlight another fan-favorite: our delicious 100% Beef Franks. When Oscar Mayer makes anything, we prioritize taste over everything, so no matter what kind of hot dog you enjoy this summer, if it’s Oscar Mayer, you know it will be 100% tasty, and 100% make you smile.”

You can track the Frankmobile fleet’s movements on Oscar Mayer’s Frankmobile website. On Thursday, the just-renamed Franks will be making appearances in Chatham, Illinois; in Stockbridge, Georgia; and in Markham, Illinois. The Frankfurters will be handing out those covetable Frank Whistles, and if your name is Frank, then you can get a coupon for a free package of Oscar Mayer’s 100% Beef Franks.

What remains to be seen is whether this name chance, like so many stunts these days, will stick. Either way don’t forget to give that Weenie/Frank Whistle a quick toot in honor of Carl Mayer. Without him, we might not have this Frankmobile at all.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles