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Wienerschnitzel Corn Dog Sticks Carry a Surprise for Customers

By Mar 06, 2012

Wienerschnitzel, claiming to be the world’s largest hot dog chain, has begun its third annual “Cash in on a Corn Dog” sweepstakes. The prize is attractive: $100,000 in big cash prizes, “Wiener Bucks,” and over a million free Corn Dogs.

For customers that love the dogs the sweeps is easy to play; buy a wiener, eat it and read the message on the wooden stick the corn dog is served on to check for a prize or code that can be entered online for the chance to win.

New to the “Eat it, Read it, Win it?” promotion this year, the cash prize was doubled and players have improved chances of winning thousands of cash prizes, including  $10,000, $1,000, $500 or $100 and $10 or $5 in “Wiener Bucks.” In addition, 1.3 million free Corn Dogs are being given away and are redeemable at any time, even on the same visit.

The enhancements play on the success of the promotion over the prior two years.

"During its first two years, more than 210,000 customers have participated in the sweepstakes online," says Tom Amberger, vice president of marketing for Wienerschnitzel.

Wienerschnitzel uses the sweepstakes and giveaways as a way to reward its loyal customers, he said.

The sweeps rules are printed on the Corn Dog bags and include directions on how guests can request a free Corn Dog stick by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the sweepstakes’ office. The contest runs through June 30.

There is a big marketing effort to get people into the restaurants to participate, including TV and radio, online marketing, social media and in-store P-O-P materials.

On the social media front, people who like the Wienerschnitzel Facebook page will find information on the sweepstakes, as well as other content and promotions, like a downloadable $1 coupon off a pastrami sandwich.

On YouTube, founder John Galardi stars in a video that talks about the first hot dog stand he opened in 1961 and this latest sweepstakes.

Wienerschnitzel puts out a regular rotation of marketing promotions. Last year, in celebration of its 50th anniversary it rolled out what it called "the grand prix of promotions"—the “Teenie-Wienie 50 Cars & Free Food for All Instant Win Game” where every player wins free food and a chance to win one of 50 Fiat 500’s.

The promotion began July 4 and offered a double-sided game piece with every 30 oz. beverage purchased. The customers peeled off one side to reveal both an instant-win food prize and an online game code. In addition to the instant win prize, they could go online to www.wienerschnitzel.com to play “Drop In To Win” for a second chance to win a new Fiat 500. The game pieces were available through Dec. 15, 2011.

On the company's official 50th birthday, July 17 2011 all of its 350 locations ran food promotions, like selling Chili Dogs, Mustard Dogs and Kraut Dogs for 61-cents each to coincide with the 1961 founding year. People could mail-in submission forms for a chance to win a trip for two to Munich Germany and $1000.00 spending cash. Giveaways were handed out like free food, original D/W crest stickers, and other Wienerschnitzel merchandise.