Ketchup, Mustard and Messaging
Americans will eat more than 7 billion hot dogs from Memorial Day through Labor Day, 150 million on the 4th of July holiday alone. If you have one, do you top it with ketchup or mustard?
According to a YouGov survey, the most popular condiment for hot dogs is mustard (72%) followed by ketchup (59%), onions (51%) and relish (47%).
Age has a big impact on our choice. 73% of 16-34 year olds ate their hot dogs with ketchup while only 41% of those 35 and older did.
Makes sense. Kids love ketchup. Children have different taste buds than adults and notice bitter tasting foods more. Plus creative commercials help create long lasting habits like adding ketchup to a hot dog. Remember the Anticipation theme from these two classics?
But sometimes one organization’s message hurts a complimentary product. The National Hot Dog & Sausage Council’s Do’s and Don’ts of Hot Dog Etiquette surely caught the attention of ketchup companies with this one:
Use ketchup on your hot dog after the age of 18.
Mustard, relish, onions, cheese and chili are acceptable.
Whether you like your hot dog with ketchup, mustard or some other way, you can benefit from these Messaging Do’s and Don’ts:
Do…Focus on creative promotions to tell your story. Just like the hot dog industry promotes National Hot Dog Month, you can promote your anniversary, new equipment, locations and hires in a creative way.
Do…Make it about your target audiences. Why does it matter to them?
Don’t…Miss opportunities to promote your uniqueness. Develop a content calendar to tell your story throughout the year.
Don’t…Make messaging, branding and PR decisions by committee. You’ll end up with a little bit of what each person wanted and a lot of wasted advertising dollars.
If you’re still not sure about ketchup on your hot dog, Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry makes it clear.