How do you reinvent an American classic?


Role: Account Executive

For over 50 years, Wienerschnitzel has built the world’s largest hot dog chain based on deep ties to the community and a playful brand personality. Wienerschnitzel has an incredibly strong brand, yet they are held down by the misconceptions of their unique product, the hot dog.


District 10: 

Third Place

Best Media Plan


Lubbock ADDYs: 

Consumer Campaign - Gold

The Ask

Change the misconceptions of hot dogs and boost the image of this American classic

The Problem

1. False perceptions of hot dogs affect the product category

2. Audiences have a shallow level of brand appreciation for Wienerschnitzel


Be open and honest about hot dogs

Wienerschnitzel uses the same cuts of meat that you would throw on the grill and feed your family with as well was a simple combination of spices. Letting consumers know about the quality of the ingredients that go into the American classic instead of the production process.

Share the brand story to grow the brand community

The strength of Wienerschnitzel's brand is in it's 50 years of serving the community and "doing things differently" but consumers don't truly understand the brand. Communicating the brand's values and history through Wienerschnitzel's playful tone will build a strong community of hot dog lovers.

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Of survey participants could not decide if Wienerschnitzel
was “unique” from other brands of hot dogs.

I forgot Wienerschnitzel was a thing.

Miriam C.,

Focus Group Participant


Of our audience was unsure whether hot dogs were
made of quality cuts or leftover remnants.

While observing several focus groups, the team sensed the participants were responding inauthentically. There was an inconsistency in tone and behavior; they were speaking negatively about hot dogs, yet they were chowing down on all the samples offered (and even asked for more).


So, the team ran an experiment to see if a someone planted in the focus group could sway how the entire group perceived the product category and the Wienerschnitzel brand.

The initial discussion was neutral but as soon as the planted participant spoke highly of hot dogs and complimented Wienerschnitzel, the tone made a 180-DEGREE-TURN. The third focus group was buzzing with positive chatter about hot dogs and the Wienerschnitzel brand.

The Experiment

Key Insights

Consumers are unsure and neutral toward hotdogs

Wienerschnitzel is trying to sway an unaware, neutral audience toward the product category and brand. The campaign is not fighting an uphill battle to refute negative perceptions, instead the campaign will showcase the truth in a fun, playful way.

Social influence is everything

To push the needle on the hot dog debate you just need voices that have an innate ability to create and disseminate messages that speak about positively about hot dogs. These individuals can use their networks to control the conversation and influence their followers to seek the truth about hot dogs. 

Target Audience

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Brand Strategy

Positioning Statement

To TrendFluencers, Wienerschnitzel is a convenient dining experience that satisfies a craving for a tasty classic.


A Playful, Reliable Friend (With Benefits)


People who eat at Wienerschnitzel relish life's crazy moments with confidence.

Rediscovering the fun within the bun

Brand Vision



Creative Strategy

Wienerschnitzel, The Best in the Bun


The best tasting, best quality food that TrendFluencers seek is in the hot dog bun.

Creative Concept

TrendFluencers have been told to by other food brands to search outside the bun for great food, but there’s no need.

Creative Insight

The tagline, “The Best in the Bun,” is both a reminder to consumers and a challenge to competitors that what they’ve been searching for has been in the bun all along.

Banner Ads

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Print Ads

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Video Executions