Can Oscar Mayer's new $50 million ad campaign beat its catchy old jingles?

Oscar Mayer's name is synonymous with two things: processed meat and catchy jingles. Start singing, "My bologna has a first name...." and chances are several people will join in to finish the song. The song debuted in the 1970s with a commercial that's pure Americana: A small boy, sitting on a dock and holding a fishing pole in one hand and a bologna sandwich in the other, joyfully launching into the catchy tune. The Oscar Mayer Wiener jingle ("Oh I wish I were an Oscar Mayer weiner...")became so popular after its 1963 radio debut that school marching bands played the song and consumers requested radio stations to play the tune, according to a history of Kraft Foods' (KFT) Oscar Mayer brands.

So how can Oscar Mayer top the popularity of these decades-old campaigns? By spending more than $50 million on what the brand says is its biggest advertising campaign in its 125-year history. The new campaign uses the tag line "It Doesn't Get Better Than This" and ties together the brand's products in a way that its jingles -- which promoted bologna and hot dogs separately -- weren't able to do.Music is part of the new campaign, naturally. But rather than a jingle, Oscar Mayer is aiming for a feel-good sound with a pop-lite song called "Doesn't Get Better Than This" by singer and songwriter Joy Williams, whose music has been used on TV shows such as Grey's Anatomy.

Like the dreamy cheerfulness of the song, the new ads capture heart-warming moments such a mom unpacking her brown-bag lunch to find her son has packed some of his favorite toys for her. The campaign includes five 30-second TV commercials that will air in prime time, as well as 12 print ads that will run in magazines ranging from People to Good Housekeeping, plus several digital campaigns.

But even though the message captures the upbeat and happy feelings in the brand's iconic ads, it's unclear whether they'll resonate as strongly as the jingles. "It's a new direction," says Oscar Mayer spokeswoman Sydney Lindner. "We think this campaign still reflects our heritage." The jingles aren't being tossed out, she adds. "We'll use them in promotions that are more specific to hot dogs and bologna," she says.

Like many large marketing campaigns today, the new Oscar Mayer push includes a charity tie-in. Called Good Mood Mission, the effort will donate 1 million pounds of Oscar Mayer products to Feeding America and donate up to 1 million more when consumers visit the Website to write in their response to the prompt, "It doesn't get better than ....." The charity tie-in will kick off with a 30-second spot featuring a feel-good montage airing Sunday during the Golden Globes. "We're very very excited because we know with this economy more and more families have to make the choice between paying rent and putting food on the table," Lindner says.

And what about that other venerable Oscar Mayer tradition, the Wienermobile? The hot-dog shaped vehicle will continue its travels, playing about 20 versions of the wiener jingle, while touring the country to support the Good Mood Mission effort.

For a walk down memory lane with Oscar Mayer, watch these videos:

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