It was the video that impressed, intrigued and/or appalled the internet—a fan at a baseball game hollowing out a hot dog and using it as a straw to drink his beer, as captured by the famed social-media documentarian New York Nico.
Well, it took a year, but Oscar Mayer has now gotten on board, releasing its own “official” version of a Hot Dog Straw (for pre-order, while supplies last) on Tuesday, the first anniversary of the viral video.
There’s one notable difference between the original and the new Hot Dog Straw—Oscar Mayer’s version isn’t actually made of hot dog. It’s made of food-safe soft silicone that mirrors the size and color of a cooked dog. Meaning, obviously, that it’s reusable and won’t rot over time. In that sense, it’s actually superior to the original.
As part of the Hot Dog Straw launch, they even recreated New York Nico’s video. As you’ll see, the Oscar Mayer version slips easily out of the package and into your beer, requiring no time-consuming hollowing out whatsoever.
The stunt was orchestrated with help from agency Johannes Leonardo, which has helped the meat marketer with all sorts of wacky efforts over the years, from developing a bologna face mask to putting the “hot dog legs” meme on billboards this summer.
Much like the original video did, Oscar Mayer’s co-opting of the idea has inspired both love and hate. “Oscar Mayer Curses Us With a Hot Dog Straw,” wrote The Takeout, reversing its own position from a year ago, when it published “In Defense of the Hot Dog Straw.” As they say, if your marketing isn’t making someone mad, you’re probably not doing it right.
Regardless, it’s gotten more press for Oscar Mayer in a day than the brand’s tube steaks usually generate in a year.
“It’s rare when you get the opportunity to insert yourself into culture as a brand, and it’s even rarer when culture finds a way to involve your product,” said Zack Roif, creative director at Johannes Leonardo. “And the rarest? When the brand finds an opportunity to connect those two exact things to create a whole new way to look at the moment in culture that doesn’t feel inauthentic and #cringe—and that’s what we’ve managed to pull off with Oscar Mayer and ‘New York Nico.’”
Roif added: “For over a century, Oscar Mayer has proudly produced some of the finest hot dogs for eating, and now we’re proud to have made the best one for drinking.”
“While the viral ‘Hot Dog Straw’ divided the internet, we salute the brave man who paved the way to enjoy his hot dog as he wishes,” said Kelsey Rice, associate director, Oscar Mayer. “Taking inspiration from a classic Oscar Mayer dog, the silicone Hot Dog Straw is designed for optimal sipping, and we hope it brings a friendly reminder that we don’t need to take enjoying a delicious hot dog seriously. Some things are just meant to be fun.”