Ambassador Hot Dogs

Building Brand Affinity through Hyper-Local Activations

What happens when a hyper-local and favorite Midwestern hot dog brand gets lost in the competition? They turned to MERGE to help reintroduce the brand to locals in a way that is distinctly Minnesotan – at the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships – with barnburner results: a 227% increase in brand awareness with 11 million total local and trade media impressions.

Ambassador Hot Dogs Video Case Study


  • Event Activation

  • Regional Earned Media

  • Organic Social Media


MERGE PR and Communications was challenged by client Land O’ Frost to build and drive awareness of one of its locally owned brands, Ambassador Hot Dogs, while promoting the relevance of the brand in Minnesota, positioning its products as a “must-have Minnesota staple” for every gathering.


For the second consecutive year with a feature sponsorship – Ambassador Hot Dogs was the Official Hot Dog Partner and Championship Rink Sponsor of the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships. 


MERGE created a unique hyperlocal event activation. The team created a multi-touchpoint takeover to elevate the brand presence from the foundational year (2022) and create a greater brand interaction at each major stopping point of the event, driving home the message: Ambassador is as Minnesota as Pond Hockey. 


In order to create a buzz around the brand’s on-site presence to engage participants, players, families, and volunteers, the MERGE team employed PR/earned media, owned and paid social, on-site event support, sponsorship strategy and partnership coordination/management, branded signage, limited edition merchandise, giveaways and more. 


The efforts built brand affinity, fostered engagement and drove product trials on-site at the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships. 


Overall, the efforts netted over 11 million impressions with only a $25,000 budget. Some key metrics include: 


- Brand awareness increased 227% from year 1 to year 2

- Product trial increased 68% from year 1 to year 2

- 427% increase in earned media impressions in activation year 2

- 9 media features across 6 media outlets totaling 5.8 earned media impressions for year 2 

- Increased retailer participation with in-store support from supermarket chain, Cub Foods



Increase in brand awareness


Increase in product trial


Total local and trade media impressions