Oscar Mayer Marketing Backfires
by JT · May 22nd, 2009 · 1 Comment
Apparently, the hot dog giveaway by Oscar Mayer this past Wednesday generated some unexpected publicity for the famous purveyor of tubular meat-ish products.Â Instead of all the goodwill emanating from a benevolent gesture prior to one of the nationâ€™s biggest cookout weekends, OM may now be facing a lawsuit thanks to the good folks at Sara Lee (maker of Ball Park franks).Â No good deed goes unpunished, apparently.
The Sara Lee suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, says the ad is false and misleading because in large type it implies one Oscar Mayer dog bested the taste of all Ball Park dogs. But the footnote, “in very small type,” says that Oscar Mayer compared its hot dogs to “the leading beef franks” of its main rivals.
Now I have a couple issues here.Â This lawsuit is clearly ridiculous, because there actually is a footnote which gets OM off the hook.Â Lawsuit fail.Â That said, I see a larger problem that speaks to the current state of food marketing these days â€“ making slightly misleading and/or dubious claims in order to pump up brands.Â What I want to know, is where is the support for this assertion?Â There is a vague reference to a â€œnational study,â€Â but that could mean they are just listening to the crazies on their YouTube
channel stating their unconditional love for the Oscar Mayer wiener
.Â Is this really a crowd you want to base your brand reputation on?
Also, if I remember
correctly, Dominoâ€™s got in similar hot water for their claim that their subs were so much better than those from Subway.Â Why canâ€™t these companies simply lay out their research?Â Wouldnâ€™t all these problems go away?Â Maybe I am just thinking of this too logically.Â Why tell the truth when it is so much easier to hope nobody notices.Â (Seems that someone noticed, Oscar.)
H/t to Peta2 for the photo above of someone you will not find on OMâ€™s YouTube channel.