The venerable Oscar Meyer Wienermobile recently crashed into a pole after it spun out in wet, snowy conditions near Harrisburg, PA.
Here is what the Wienermobile looks like when it is not crashing into things.
The Pennsylvania crash garnered a lot of attention and national news coverage. It’s not every day a giant hot dog smashes into fixed objects in your town.
This isn’t the first time company promotional vehicles have crashed. It’s a long tradition in the world of marketing.
Bain Capital Double Decker Dollar Bill
After taking a hit to their public image after a series of reports that alleged the company was enriching themselves at the expense of ordinary Americans, Bain created the Bain Capital Double Decker Dollar bill, a classic British double decker bus with a dollar bill painted across each side.
The idea was to give free rides to tourists in New York as a public relations gimmick. On the very first day, the driver miscalculated a turn and sent the bus careening down a steep embankment near the Long Island Expressway. The New York Daily News reported, “Bain Dollar Bill Bus Drops 70 Percent!”
In 1947, Zippo lighter company introduced the Zippo Car, a Chrysler with two big lighters compromising the middle of the body. In 1949, it crashed at a Polynesian Tiki festival, setting 123 grass huts on fire.
Chips Ahoy Chip Mobile
The Chip Mobile was a chocolate chip on wheels that stood 18 feet tall. From the side, it looked like a full-bodied chocolate chip. Looking straight-on, you could see it was made tall and thin to fit into a regular car lane. This design made it very unstable, and in 1983 it tipped over while negotiating treacherous Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles, tumbling to the bottom of a ravine and crashing into a pool at a mansion during the filming of an adult movie.
One of the most recognized promotional vehicles in the world, the Clydesdale horses pull a festive red, white and gold beer wagon in promotional events and TV commercials for Anheuser-Busch. There are several teams that travel to different parts of the US and other countries.
However, facing declining sales of its flagship Budweiser brand, the company announced many layoffs, including two teams of Clydesdales. When trainers informed one team they would be losing their jobs, they went berserk, racing through the streets at high speed, eventually crashing into the St. Louis Gateway Arch.
Jolly Green Giant String Bean Bus
Jolly Green Giant is one of the most trusted brands on store shelves. The Green Giant company created the String Bean Bus to promote it’s brand and healthy eating. At the Iowa State Fair in 1996, the String Bean Bus driver spent his lunch hour eating the popular cotton candy on the Midway.
All jacked up on the delicious treat, he drove the bus too fast and crashed through a security gate into the Big Cow Made Of Butter — a large statue of a Holstein cow completely made of butter — barreled through a tomato stand and came to rest in the 4-H Club lettuce display. Headlines in the Des Moines Register said, “State Fair Debuts World’s Largest Salad!”