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Faces - Eric Thompson

Friday, May 13, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 3:29 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Eric Thompson

In June, Eric Thompson will start a job he had never expected: driving a Wienermobile.

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Eric Thompson

Thompson, an MU student majoring in broadcast journalism with minors in Spanish and political science, will spend the next year driving the Wienermobile. The imposing, hot-dog shaped vehicles are sent to different regions of the country by Oscar Mayer Foods.

Thompson, 22, hopes he will be in the Midwest, to be near his family, or in the West, because he has never been there.

The job began by chance. Thompson responded to a campus e-mail about the opportunity to drive a Wienermobile. He said he answered the call for drivers because he thought it was funny.

But he was surprised when the company called and offered to fly him to Madison, Wis., for an interview. He did it, and in late March they told him he was hired.

Soon, Thompson will train in Madison and meet his drive-time partner. He will learn not only how the Wienermobile handles on a curve but how to market promotions and call media attention to them. The pair, as he describes it, will be “a sort of a two-person travelling marketing team for Oscar Mayer.”

Thompson says he thinks his broadcast background will help because he knows what television needs to make a story.

However, he does it as an opportunity to see the country, to “for the heck of it, drive around.”


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