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UI/UX Problem Solver
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National Student Advertising Competition 2019

I was chosen to represent The Modern College of Design, along with 19 other students, at the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC). We took second place in AAF District Five. Our client was Wienerschnitzel, the world's largest hot dog chain. As a Graphic Designer, I took on a leading role in our social media campaign. I developed visual assets (gifs, ads, post-mockups) for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. I also focused my problem-solving skills on challenging our concept development and brainstorming sessions to create a more in-depth idea.

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Wienerschnitzel's Challenge

There has always been a negative perception toward hot dogs. Inspired by brand supported awareness campaigns, Wienerschnitzel wanted to elevate the image of a hot dog to increase primary demand. There were three main misconceptions that created this negative perception: hot dogs are made from leftover remnants of the animal, hot dogs are one of the unhealthiest things you can eat, and hot dogs are a basic food.

Attitudes towards hot dogs need to change in order to benefit not only this company but all of the hot dog industry. Wienerschnitzel’s happy and celebratory tone will work to improve negative consumer perceptions of hot dogs. This company values community, playfulness, and openness, and these values are what makes them the right fit to lead this charge. We had four months to create a 12-month national awareness campaign to change the minds of Wienerschnitzel's target audience.

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Research and Brainstorming

We started off researching our target audiences, Trendmakers and Connectors. When compared to Connectors, Trendmakers are the trailblazers for the Connector’s expedition. The Trendmakers go out and explore the food world, giving options for the Connectors to follow after. This deep-dive helped us create a SWOT analysis. We would need to make hot dogs top-of-mind, change the perception of unhealthiness, and get rid of the "mystery meat" mindset.

In our research, we discovered that everyone has their own idea of hot dogs: the right way to cook them, what should be on top, what brand is the best, and more. Consumers responded strongly to concepts with a lighthearted and humorous mood because hot dogs are not a serious food. Therefore, the most effective messaging to make hot dogs trendy would be to remind consumers of how fun hot dogs are and create media that is both catchy and buzz-worthy for them to interact with.

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Our Concept Statement

Let’s be honest, hot dogs are different. Their ingredients, versatility, and presentation make enjoying every dog a unique experience. But hot dogs have been given a bad rap and are made out to be the “weenie” of entrees—the misfit meat. Like hot dogs, we all have our differences; we’re all weenies. But our personalities, expressions, and experiences are our ingredients. They make us who we are, and who we are is something to celebrate. We’re championing you, the weenies of the world, encouraging you to embrace your ingredients and boldly express yourselves.
So what are you made of?

"Weenie" is a badge of honor; Hot dogs are one of a kind; Wienerschnitzel is the host of the party.

What is a Weenie?

“What a weenie!” was once a phrase used by school kids to make fun of misfits. Hot dogs are often criticized due to their distinct ingredients and appearance (“Weenies” by multiple definitions), but these differences are what make hot dogs special. No other meat is as versatile in recipe, preparation, and presentation as hot dogs. The same is true for people: the differences in their personalities, experiences, and self-expressions are what make them who they are. The “What Are You Made Of?” campaign is redefining the term “Weenie” to be a badge of honor. A Weenie knows that they are unique. They speak up for others to embrace who they are, quirks and all. They live their life boldly expressing themselves without fear of rejection. Weenies embrace their ingredients: what they are made of.

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Life is Digital

It’s no secret that Trendmakers are largely connected via their phones, tablets, and computers. Targeting this demographic will fill their digital stomachs with the celebratory and humorous messaging of this campaign.

We kick off the campaign with our promo video. The “What Are You Made Of?” campaign video showcases the individuality of people as they prepare a hot dog in their own unique way. It will appear on all social platforms, streaming channels, at sporting events, and on the website. The website is the centralized location for this campaign. It will feature an interactive hot dog builder that will encourage social sharing.

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During this one-year campaign, we will utilize campaign promotions, user-generated content, video-based content, filters, stickers, and gifs across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Partnering with Fortnite and Rocket League to develop downloadable content creates an additional campaign touchpoint. Users who interact with our website, and share on their social, will receive download codes for a hot dog-inspired rocket boost, and a “Hello, My Name is Weenie” hot dog costume. This integrated marketing campaign will utilize a Search Network with Display Select Google Ads. By focusing on keywords like hot dog, and made of, we will be able to target potential users with visual ads. Lastly, we will be using audio advertisements on Spotify and Pandora to increase general awareness of the “What Are You Made Of?” campaign.

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Wienerschnitzel will change their in-store applications (place mats, signs, etc.) and restaurant packaging to align with the “What Are You Made Of?” campaign. Limited-edition Weenie Wearables are essential to the campaign. Weenie Wearables include hats, t-shirts for all ages, and more.

The majority of Americans drive to work daily, so this campaign is utilizing sequential billboard installments to target big city Trendmakers on their way to work. For one month, 300 of these signs will be positioned in ordered groups of 3 to tell a story as the viewer drives along the road. For example, sign one: “Hey Weenie,” sign two: “yeah, you!” sign three: “What Are You Made Of?”

The development and presentation of a Macy’s Day and Mardi Gras float creates a flamboyant campaign touchpoint that will be seen in person and on screen by millions of people. The float construction is a trailer foundation and a host of professional dancers dressed in color-coded costumes. From an eagle-eye view, the dances will form a hot dog.

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Experiential Marketing

Over 64% of survey respondents say sporting events are one of the most likely places they will consume a hot dog. This campaign capitalizes on the link between sports and hot dogs by creating positive hype around hot dogs during these events.
NBA/WNBA/NHL: The “Mighty Dogs” take to the ice or court to compete against their longtime rivals, the “Phony Foodies” for the championship, and after a hilarious battle, take home the trophy.
WWE: Performers dressed as “Frank Fighter” and “Half Pounder” duke it out, and the hot dog takes the prize!

#MadeOf Museum is intended to be a unique, Instagramable, Trendmaker-oriented campaign touchpoint. The museum will travel to and will be showcased at noteworthy music, art, and food festivals across the country. The museum will consist of 6 semi-trucks, each containing its own hot dog related display. When the trailers are parked end-to-end and a 3D installation is attached to the outside of the trailers, the museum will look like a 318 foot-long hot dog. Further, the #MadeOf Museum could travel to smaller events with only a portion of the trucks.

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Main Campaign KPI

A Customer Data Platform will be used to pull data from the nominations for Weenie Of The Week through the campaign website and responding to marketing emails. All of this data will be combined and integrated back into marketing channels for this specific campaign in order to allow the “What Are You Made Of?” campaign to evolve based on consumer data. A portion of this evaluation also includes measuring the performance of a hashtag, #WeenieOfTheWeek, on social media. This will allow the measurement of campaign engagement to continually be active and evaluated.

What We Will Accomplish

There’s no one like you, there’s nothing like a hot dog. Wienerschnitzel is leading the charge to get Trendmakers talking about hot dogs in order to improve consumer perceptions, thereby increasing industry-wide hot dog sales. When this concept was presented to people, 3/4 claimed to have a more positive attitude about hot dogs. The “What Are You Made Of?” campaign bolsters consumer attitudes towards hot dogs by redefining the word “weenie” to be a badge of honor, positioning hot dogs as a one of a kind food item, and communicating Wienerschnitzel as the host of the party. Wienerschnitzel is championing the weenies of the world to embrace their ingredients and boldly express themselves. So, what are you made of?