Hot Diggity Dog: Marquette Alum pilots the Wienermobile

Kaitlyn+Bross%2C+a+graduate+of+Marquette+University%2C+sits+atop+the+Oscar+Mayer+Wienermobile+September+23.+She+is+one+of+12+hotdoggers+in+the+United+States.

Photo by Isabel Bonebrake

Kaitlyn Bross, a graduate of Marquette University, sits atop the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile September 23. She is one of 12 hotdoggers in the United States.

Secret Service with a side of relish — Oscar Mayer’s Hotdoggers have escorted everyone from babies to Prince Harry, bringing a smile no matter their royal status.

Kaitlyn Bross, an alum of the College of Communication, spent her entire summer traversing the Midwest in the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, aptly named RelishMe. Bross heard about the position after running into a previous Hotdogger at a gathering for Marquette Rock Climbing Club.

“I was rock-climbing at a gym in Milwaukee and I ended up talking with a current Hotdogger, and she had a similar personality to me,” Bross said. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I could totally see myself doing that this year.’” 

After her training at Hotdog High, Bross and her co-pilot, Ben Godfrey, set off on their adventure, stopping in a new city every week. They show off the Wienermobile, engage with people on the road and spread the Oscar Mayer brand across the country.

“One of the most special places I got to take [the Wienermobile] was home,” Bross said. “I parked in my front lawn in Wentzville, Missouri and I got to give my three nieces and nephews a ride in it around town. That was absolutely incredible, I had dreamed getting to do that ever since I applied for the job online and it was very frank-tastic.” 

The Wienermobile offers rides to its fans, however, sometimes those fans aren’t always human.  

“We’ve gotten to bring bunnies in here, we’ve gotten dogs. I have a goal of getting a raccoon in here,” Bross said. “Some other Hotdoggers have gotten squirrels and turkeys, and one even got a miniature horse.” 

While they’ve had their fair share of animal experiences, the Hotdoggers have interacted with many dedicated and enthusiastic human supporters. 

One of the people that Bross remembers best is a woman named Jane. Bross and Godfrey met Jane at a car show in Apple Valley, Minnesota when she showed up with a poster of the Wienermobile full of facts, history and postcards. Her passion for the Wienermobile started when she was a child and saw it on a road trip in the 70s. 

“After chatting with her at the event and seeing how awesome of a person she was, her brother came up and we recreated the same photo they took many years ago,” Bross said. “It’s one of those days I will never forget because of how much magic I can create through the Wienermobile.” 

Throughout her time at Marquette Bross studied public relations and political science. Her experience in PR gave her the ability to represent the Oscar Mayer brand as a Hotdogger.

“I love doing social media, I love getting to chat with media and set all of that up. I find a lot of joy in getting to do interviews and also just making fun social content to share my adventures with other people,” Bross said. 

On their long-haul adventures, Bross and Godfrey spend a lot of time listening to music.  

“Our go-to’s are alt-rock, classic rock, a lot of rap, indie and sometimes you just got to put Doja Cat on after a hard day,” Bross said. 

Bross will continue hotdoggin’ around the Midwest until January when she will be relocated to another part of the country. Stay up to date with her journey on Instagram, @om_ketchupkaitlyn.

This story was written by Izzy Fonfara Drewel. She can be reached at [email protected]