In 2019, Steve Johnson of the Chicago Tribune picked "Wiener Stampede" as one of the "5 Greatest Super Bowl Commercials of Modern Times."


In 2016, ketchup giant Heinz turned Harry Nilsson’sWithout You” on and delivered a deceptively simple, appealingly goofy, disarmingly elegant and strangely emotional delight. As this perfect-for-the-moment song plays, a horde of dachshunds in hot dog buns - “wiener dogs,” right? - runs through a field, toward … grown humans wearing Heinz condiment costumes of the type you might put on to drum up store sales in picnic season. The ketchup people display surprise and ecstasy as they realize what is coming their way.
That the best spot of a Super Bowl could be made so simply (and so inexpensively) had to have other advertisers tearing their storyboards into little pieces. No celebrities. No massive, befuddling production that looks lifted from an action movie. Just the courage to go all-in on an offbeat high concept. For that this Chicagoan is even willing to accept the implication that ketchup on a hot dog is acceptable.

-- Steve Johnson [1]


"Weiner Stampede"


We decided to make use of the pun involving the dog's nickname and literally dressed up several dachshunds as hot dogs, turning them into literal wiener dogs running towards their favorite Heinz condiments, for our first Super Bowl commercial. A simple, visual and fun way to communicate that hot dogs can’t resist the great taste of Heinz.

-- David The Agency[2]


Filming the stampeding dachshunds proved more difficult than expected.


The original plan was to shoot the entire stampede in camera. We had three steady cams, a five acre field, three locations, thirty dogs… and a one day shoot. We soon realized that we could only run eight dogs at any one time, therefore limiting the scale of the live action stampede, but increasing the scale required using CG
A fun aspect of this commercial was that obviously the dogs couldn’t really be directed, therefore the creative process was led by what happened on the day. For example, there was a shot where the dogs were meant to jump into the Heinz family's arms. This would have been a rather Herculean feat of jumping about four feet, when I would hazard a guess that a wiener dog can only jump about eight inches.
We used multiple plates of live action dogs where possible, and supplemented live action with CG dogs in the mid and far background. We also replaced skies and added in lens flares.

-- Tim Bird (Creative Director and 2D Lead Artist)[3]