Wienerschnitzel, which bills itself as the world's largest hot dog chain, has brought back its illustrated hot dog mascot in a campaign that includes retro TV and radio ads, digital and other elements.
The mascot, dubbed "The Delicious One" or "TDO," was last featured in the chain's marketing in 2008.
The new, 30-second spots from agency DGWB feature the cartoon mascot and hungry fans, created by Renegade Animation. The jingles are reminiscent of those in early '60s TV ads, and mention the brand's having been founded in 1961.
The goal is to "transport guests back in time with a campaign that resonates with our longtime customers while also appealing to our newer hot dog-loving fans," says Wienerschnitzel's VP of marketing, Tom Amberger.
The first TV spot began airing this month; seven more will be launched during the year. The TV and radio ads are running primarily in Western markets, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay area, San Diego, Tucson, Albuquerque, and Amarillo, Lubbock and El Paso, Texas.
The campaign will also include direct mail within all markets served by the chain (its 350 locations are concentrated in California and nine other states); interactive ad campaigns; a sweepstakes; and outreach via Twitter and Facebook (with an Instagram presence soon to come).
The TDO mascot is also making a comeback on the chain's redesigned packaging, in-store promotional materials, and crew uniforms.
Founded by John Galardi with a single hot dog stand in Wilmington, Calif., the Wienerschnitzel chain is now part of Galardi Group, which is also the parent of The Hamburger Stand, Tastee Freez LLC and Two Madres Mexican Kitchen.