People put a lot of things on their hot dogs in Chicago; the one thing they absolutely won’t put on is ketchup. Most Chicagoans opt for mustard, relish, onion and pickled condiments instead. Where this rule originated is a mystery, but one by which natives of the Windy City dutifully abide by.
But ketchup giant Heinz apparently sees this aversion to one of the most popular condiments in another light: 2.5 million hot dog consumers the company is missing out on.
So leading up to last month’s National Hot Dog Day, Heinz came out with a new strategy for luring Chicagoans into putting ketchup on their dogs. To sneak ketchup into the ketchup-hostile city, they slapped Chicago Dog Sauce labels on their ketchup containers.
The brand then went out and convinced locals to give Chicago Dog Sauce a try on their beloved hot dogs. The following video shows that many people tried this new red dog sauce. However, you could see the confusion in the eyes of the locals.
Chicago Dog Sauce gains love and hate
One man pokes at his hot dog, then seeks clarification before digging in: “Wait—is the Chicago [Dog] Sauce the red stuff?”
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything this red on my hot dog before,” admits another.
“You’re challenging people’s identities out here, this is dangerous.”
“Don’t tell my father.”
Some took offence to the promotion; one person suggesting that Heinz pump its dog sauce somewhere crude. Not everyone was upset, however, although they were far outnumbered; some people cheered the campaign as an opportunity for them to profess their forbidden love.
Heinz may not have gotten the reception it wanted, but it certainly attracted Chicago’s attention. Chicago Dog Sauce, available for a limited time for $5US plus shipping and handling at chicagodogsauce.com.
Daniel is an Art Director and Graphic Designer with over a decade of experience in advertising and marketing in the Greater Toronto Area.