Hot Dog King Oscar Mayer Faces the Cookout Season That Wasn’t

According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, we Americans eat somewhere around 20 billion hot dogs a year, which works out to 70 dogs for each of us. That’s good news for Oscar Mayer, which makes the best-selling wieners in the United States.

Or, at least, it would normally be good news.

Summer grilling season is fast approaching, a time when Americans will down 818 hot dogs every second. But with social distancing mandates in effect across the country, the coronavirus threatens to pour water on the barbecue.

Which is why Oscar Mayer has switched things up a bit. In a spot debuting this morning, the 137-year-old processor of bacon, salami, bologna—and hot dogs—is telling Americans that while the pool party might be off, it’s still OK to fire up the barbecue. “Front Yard Cookout” shows neighbors who live in a suburban cul-de-sac having a cookout in the time of Covid-19, by rolling their backyard grills to the ends of their driveways and greeting one another from a safe distance.

“We may not be able to gather together,” intones the earnest and compassionate-sounding narrator, “but we can grill together.”

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