Oscar Mayer Gives the Finger to Hot Dog Hands

And this isn't the first time they've held onto their weiners…

Everything Everywhere All at Once, the A24-produced movie, received 11 Oscar nominations, making it the most nominated movie of the season. The film already won big at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards, which is fantastic news for everyone except possibly the Oscar Mayer corporation, which turned down a seeming once in a lifetime opportunity to play a major role in the plot of an award-winning film.

The film centers on the idea of the multiverse—the concept that our universe is but one of an infinite number of parallel universes in which things are the same but different, sometimes in small ways, and sometimes in ways that are much bigger. The film prominently features one such parallel universe where everyone, including stars Michelle Yeoh and Jamie Lee Curtis, have hot dogs instead of fingers.

Seeing an obvious sponsorship opportunity, the producers at A24 reached out to Oscar Mayer but the entreaty garnered no response, so the movie went on with no tube steak sponsor. A24 revealed the ghosting in a tweet.

To some this may seem like a major missed opportunity for Oscar Mayer—but this is not the first time the processed meats purveyor has shunned Hollywood. Oscar Mayer holds their brand in high regard and, like the Beatles and Bob Dylan, feel that the use of their works in commercial ventures would devalue their product. You may be surprised to know that over the past 50 years, Oscar Mayer has turned down countless opportunities to be featured in many of the most iconic movies and TV shows. To them, the chance of being the poster-child for the next Flubber is too much of a risk.

Here are a just a few of the films that Oscar Mayer has rebuffed over the years:

Pulp Fiction

What eventually became a Big Kahuna Burger was originally supposed to be an Oscar Mayer wiener in this iconic intimidation scene from Sam Jackson.

"Do you know what they call a foot-long hot dog in France, Brett?"

Star Wars

True fact: The Jedi Master in the original George Lucas script was actually a 1,000-year-old cocktail wiener.

Dirty Dancing

Rumor has it that Patrick Swayze specifically requested a Chicago-style dog as his castmate in this summer classic. The deal fell through.

The Ring

Producers from The Ring saw the obvious branding synergies between frankfurters and a creature that emerges from dark murky water.

The English Patient

According to people with knowledge, the on-set chemistry between Juliette Binoche and her would-be co-star was palpable during screen tests.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

"Master has given Dobby a chili dog. Master has freed Dobby."

The A-Team

If viewers of this '80s TV classic ever wondered how the secretive squad of hitmen blended-in to Los Angeles traffic with their black and red striped van, the original plan for the vehicle would've raised even more questions.


Little known fact—Kate Winslet only got the role in Titanic AFTER a James Cameron rebuke from the Oscar Mayer Company.


Sand worms—scary. All-beef sand-frank—terrifying.

High School Musical

This one actually happened. Really.

Squid Game

How much more harrowing would the first Squid Game challenge have been if their original concept had come to fruition? We'll never know.

In the end it's clear that Oscar Mayer has missed out on the type of publicity that most brands can only dream of. Will they change their ways if Everything Everywhere All at Once wins it all at the Academy Awards in March? Only time will tell.

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Deacon Webster
Deacon Webster is co-founder and chief creative officer of New York-based independent agency Walrus.

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