PPAI Magazine November 2023

Community | Buzzworthy IMAGE CREDIT: Oscar Mayer Meme-worthy Merch Drawing inspiration from viral videos, memes and other pop culture moments, these promo items help end users make memories. By Rachel Zoch 1. Oscar Mayer Makes Hot Dog Straws For Real You might remember last year’s viral video of the baseball fan who used a hot dog as a straw for his beer. (Maybe you wish you could forget.) A year later, Oscar Mayer launched a limited-edition silicone version of the hot dog straw, available free to frankfurter fans through a special page on the company’s website. “Taking inspiration from a classic Oscar Mayer dog, the silicone Hot Dog Straw is designed for optimal sipping, and we hope it brings a friendly reminder that we don’t need to take enjoying a delicious hot dog seriously,” Kelsey Rice, Oscar Mayer’s associate director, said in a statement. “Some things are just meant to be fun.” Supply of the tubular treats ran out within days, but a few of them are sure to join the listings for Weinermobile memorabilia on eBay. 2. Memes Drive Campaign Merch Far from the “I Like Ike” buttons of old, today’s presidential campaigns draw from headlines and inside jokes for promo that may be more pop culture than politics. Within hours of former president Donald Trump’s surrender at a Georgia jail in August, the mug shot (captioned “Never surrender!”) was available on official campaign merch. Earlier in the year, the Biden campaign embraced the “Dark Brandon” meme – which started as a coded insult to the current president – and turned it into merch that now accounts for more than half the campaign store’s sales. Of course, there are plenty of parody campaign shirts featuring movie characters, singers and celebrities, and other actual candidates are selling their own merch to attract small donors who might not otherwise contribute, making it a significant revenue stream for campaigns of all sizes. IMAGE CREDITS: shop.joebiden.com and secure.winred.com 84 • NOVEMBER 2023 • PPAI