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OSCAR MAYER CELEBRATES 30 YEARS OF WIENER JINGLING

 MADISON, Wis., Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Richard Trentlage, creator of the famous Oscar Mayer Wiener Jingle, led a sing-along with hundreds of Oscar Mayer employees at the jingle's 30th birthday party at the company's headquarters in Madison today.
 "I Wish I Were an Oscar Mayer Wiener" was first heard in a 1963 radio spot, and, following the immediate success of the radio spot, was featured in television commercials, print ads and a variety of other marketing programs.
 Americans everywhere quickly fell in love with the catchy, heart- warming tune that was created as an entry to a competition conducted by J. Walter Thompson, Oscar Mayer's advertising agency since 1958. Little did jingle writer Richard Trentlage know when he wrote and recorded the jingle -- just hours before the competition deadline -- how successful it would become.
 "Before putting it on the air, we exposed our new wiener song to the trade," commented Oscar Mayer's General Advertising Manager William B. Walrath in 1963. "When they reacted favorably, we knew for sure we had a winner, but we had no way of knowing then how fantastic this thing would become -- in sales and in fan mail."
 With the jingle as a catalyst, Oscar Mayer has sold more than 38 billion hot dogs since 1963 and currently has a market share twice that of its nearest competitor.
 As Oscar Mayer wiener sales took off, the jingle took on a life of its own. After its introduction, radio listeners across the country began calling radio and television stations requesting the jingle as though it were a "pop" tune. Over the years, scout leaders, bandleaders, cheerleaders, songleaders and choir directors from around the world have requested arrangements of the song and recordings for private collections and commercial juke boxes. Even the Vienna Symphony arranged and produced a special version of the jingle that was featured in a 1970 commercial.
 Perhaps the jingle's most unique use has been in the company's Wienermobiles, the giant hot-dogs on wheels, which travel the country, visiting fairs, stadiums and grocery stores playing the jingle in a wide variety of musical styles.
 The jingle was last used in a commercial for Oscar Mayer wieners in 1990 and continues to play a role in the company's advertising plans.
 When asked about the future use of the jingle, Jean Cowden, public affairs manager for Oscar Mayer, said, "You never know where you might hear it next."
 Oscar Mayer Foods Corp. is a business unit of Kraft USA which is an operating group of Kraft General Foods, the multi-national food business of Philip Morris Inc.
 -0- 11/10/93
 /CONTACT: Jean Cowden, public affairs manager of Oscar Mayer, 608-241-6864, or Jeff Perlman, 312-266-4522/


CO: Oscar Mayer ST: Wisconsin IN: FOD SU:

TW -- NY089 -- 2882 11/10/93 15:37 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 10, 1993
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