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Oscar Mayer Weinermobile recruits hotdoggers at UGA – Red and Black

One of America’s icons – the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile – visited Athens on Jan. 20 and 21 to recruit upper-level university students as “Hotdoggers.”

Two college graduates, Jessica Smith and Matthew Heng, were accepted to the Oscar Mayer “Hotdogger program” following their 2014 graduation. They were given the responsibility to drive one of the six Wienermobiles around the United States.

“It’s an icon, it’s very much a part of American culture, so we’re here to keep that tradition strong,” Smith said.

Heng and Smith visited six upper-level university classes to inform roughly 500 students about the opportunity to join the “Hotdogger program.”

While the Wienermobile may seem silly superficially, it has a greater purpose than simply being a 27-foot-long hotdog on wheels.

The basic definition of a “Hotdogger” is the spokesperson who drives the Wienermobile.

More importantly, it is a competitive, one year, full-time job for college graduates to get experience in media relations, social media and interpersonal communications.

“The skills you are gaining in this job are so much more than just public relations and marketing-based,” Smith said. “There’s skills you can apply to almost any industry.”

The Oscar Mayer “Hotdogger program” accepts 12 of nearly 1,500 applicants each year to drive what Heng describes as a “public relations firm on wheels.”

“Hotdoggers” serve as ambassadors to Oscar Mayer. They travel the United States to participate in a variety of events and campaigns, greet the public at grocery stores or fairs and recruit college students for the next year.

After multiple interviews and a flight to the Oscar Mayer headquarters, accepted applicants go through two weeks of “Hotdog High.”

Here, the college graduates go through media training and learn communication skills, crisis management, media pitching, radio, television and newspaper interviewing skills and how to effectively operate the Oscar Mayer Twitter account.

“Getting to see the breadth of things that you have to do in order to manage your business is really exciting,” Heng said.

Since their departure in June 2014, “Mesquite Matt” and “Jess Cooking” Smith have traveled around a majority of the United States.

Heng spent two days in Washington D.C. at the Safeway Barbeque Battle, a large barbeque festival on Pennsylvania Avenue which attracted 80,000 people a day.

He has driven the Wienermobile as the wedding limo for the bride and groom in Pennsylvania and has also appeared live on Fox & Friends.

Smith has visited Paramount Studios to allow a winner of Oscar Mayer’s “#Tweet2Lease” sweepstakes to drive the Wienermobile for a day.

“A lot of people have a lot of great memories with [the Wienermobile],” Heng said. “We are the people responsible for continuing to make memories and spread miles of smiles.”

The Wienermobile made its debut in 1936 on the streets of Chicago as a cramped, uncomfortable truck which could fit two.

79 years later, the “aerodogmatic” bus comfortably seats six, equips a flat-screen LG television, sports a “BIG BUN” license plate and is still riding around the country to bring memories to all ages.

Oscar Mayer Wienermobile makes stops in area – Jackson Sun

It was a return to yesterday when Kathleen Olinger of Humboldt laid her eyes on the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile at Walmart on Friday.

“It was around 1969, and I was in living in San Bernardino, Calif.,” Olinger said. “Everybody had to see it, but this one is a little different … more modern.”

Olinger was one of a steady stream of people to visit one of the six Wienermobiles Kraft Foods uses to promote its line of products — most notably — the hot dog.

“We’re traveling the ‘Hot Dog Highways,’ and it’s good family fun and makes people smile,” Jessica Smith, Wienermobile brand ambassador, said. “Each Wienermobile is piloted by two recent college graduates, and you are full-time for one year … June to June.”

A native of Chicago, Smith began work in June 2014, just weeks after picking up her degree in marketing, public relations and advertising at the University of Missouri.

Smith’s partner is Matthew Heng. He graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in advertising and public relations.

“Most of us don’t work for Oscar Mayer,” Heng said. “Most are looking for jobs in marketing and public relations.”

The Wienermobile, which comfortably seats six, is scheduled to remain in the area through the weekend, with scheduled stops in Milan and Brownsville set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

From there, Heng and Smith head south for Athens, Ga., where they will speak — and recruit — at the University of Georgia.

“(Oscar Mayer) didn’t recruit at Nebraska,” Heng, from York, Neb., said. “I learned about it on social media.”

He and Smith are two of 12 “Hotdoggers.”

Smith said she and Heng attended “Hot Dog High” for two weeks at corporate headquarters in Madison, Wis., to learn how to drive the Wienermobile, and the “ins and outs of being a Hotdogger.”

The public has questions to ask, and photographs to make, while Smith and Heng hand out the famous “Wiener Whistle.”

“Every person gets a Wiener Whistle,” Smith said. “Oscar Mayer has handed out 250,000 a year since 1952.”

But one very noticeable thing is missing during the promotion — the hot dog.

“That’s our most asked question,” Smith said. “But for health reasons, we don’t serve food.”

Oscar Mayer has had the Wienermobile — or moving billboard — on the road for 78 years.

Heng said normally, the itinerary calls for travel on Mondays and Tuesdays to their next destination, and a hotel stay during each day of travel.

Besides making appearances where Oscar Mayer products are sold, the Wienermobile is also used for parades and promotions.

“But we don’t get miles per gallon, we get ‘smiles per gallon,'” Smith said. “(Gas mileage) comparable to a RV or SUV, and it drives like a truck.”

When it’s time to refuel, Heng said, it is not uncommon for the Wienermobile to draw a crowd armed with cameras and questions.

“Yes, sometimes it takes half an hour to fill up,” Heng said. “There is no sneaking in anywhere.”

Reach David Thomas at (731) 425-9637. Follow him on Twitter @dgthomasbiz

What to know

The Wienermobile will make its next stop at Walmart in Milan from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

It will be at Walmart in Brownsville from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Oscar Mayer mansion up for sale in Evanston – MyFox Chicago

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Oscar Mayer mansion in Evanston is looking for an owner to fall in love with it.

“A young family that has the money to restore it. Evanston is a great community, great schools and the proximity to the city,” said Nooshin Saharkhiz of Sotheby’s International Realty.

Built in 1901, currently the landmark needs a lot of tender love and care.

Oscar G. Mayer served as president of the processed meat company founded by his father. He lived in this 7400 square foot home for 38 years until his death in 1965.

“This is the grand entrance, this area would be a waiting area…the maid or the butler would inform the lady of the house, ‘so and so is here,'” Saharkhiz said.

The Resident Architectural Historian, Kris Hartzell, at the Evanston history center said back in it’s heyday, Mr. Mayer was probably throwing some fabulous parties.

The once luxurious home has 6 bedrooms, 4 baths, a billiard room and a grand ballroom.

“It would have been the scene of formal entertaining, but also for the Oscar Mayer family to live in. There would be extended family living with them,” said Hartzell.

The Oscar Mayer mansion is three stories high and has one basement, and while there’s beautiful things inside such as a stained glass window, the next owner has a lot of work to do.

It’s hard to put a price on history, but the courts have set the asking price at $1.75 million, which will help pay off the previous owner’s debts.

“It certainly has a lot of irreplaceable aspects to that house that you couldn’t get if you built a new house,” Hartzell said.

However, it needs a gut rehab from floor to ceiling, as well as a central heating and cooling system.

Some contractors said the make over could cost a new owner at least $800,000. But if you ask them why they would pay, it would be to have a historic piece of B-O-L-O-G-N-A.

A place to park your Wienermobile: Rundown Oscar Mayer mansion is for sale – Yahoo Canada Finance – Insight (blog)

If you love Oscar Mayer wieners, this may be the house for you.

The mansion belonging to processed-meat magnate Oscar G. Mayer, former chairman of the famous company bearing his name, is on the market for $1.75 million, a price tag that really reflects the home’s location rather than condition. This piece of Chicago’s storied hot dog history needs more than a little elbow grease to make it livable again.

1936 Wienermobile. Click a photo for a slideshow.

1936 Wienermobile. Click a photo for a slideshow.

Located steps from the lake in Chicago suburb Evanston, the home features six bedrooms and five bathrooms over 7,400 square feet. The lot is about 2,000 square feet larger and includes a two-car garage and driveway where you could park your Wienermobile.

The home was built in 1901, and Oscar G. lived in it from 1927 until he died, in this home, in 1965. Evanston has since turned the home into a historic landmark.

But despite its famous history, the home has been sitting vacant. The dilapidated property is being sold by court order to pay off the late owner’s debt, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

“It’s a beautiful old mansion that unfortunately has been empty for a few years and needs someone to restore it to its grandeur,” listing agent Dale Lubotsky of Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty told Crain’s.

Ivy has grown over much of the front exterior, windows are boarded up in the back, wallpaper is peeling inside, and dingy stains cover the bathroom floors and walls—and that’s just what we can see from the few interior photos that have been released.

Nonetheless, hints of the home’s original elegance shine through the charming front porch, stained glass windows, marble fireplace and grand carved wood staircase. There’s also apparently a ballroom somewhere, according to the listing.

The local preservation commission was pleased to see it hit the market, hoping that new owners will reverse the disrepair the home has recently suffered.

The famous “If I Were an Oscar Mayer Wiener” jingle came out in 1965, the year Mayer died. The brand’s other famous commercial, featuring a cute little kid fishing and naming his bologna O-S-C-A-R, came out in 1974.

Mayer left most of his fortune to charity. His son, Oscar G. Mayer Jr. (not Oscar H. Mayer, considering the alphabetical order of the middle names of his predecessors), took over the company the following year. It was sold to General Foods in 1981 and is now owned by Kraft.