It has become a part of corporate lore, a symbol that cannot be devalued, and most recently, the subject of a viral T-shirt design on TikTok.
They went popular after being posted on TikTok by Eaton Print Shop.
The artist behind the website, Jacob (who requested anonymity), was undertaking a March project in which he would unveil a new poster design “every day until I run out of ideas.”
Jacob claimed, “I came up with the idea to draw it” (the Costco sign). I couldn’t recall ever seeing it depicted in art. To create this artwork, I pieced together many web photos.
The graphic was made by him in Photoshop and posted on his site. Within days, the article had nearly 2 million views, over 240,000 likes, and hundreds of comments asking for a t-shirt.
He complied, and now, according to Jacob, hundreds of t-shirts and posters featuring his artwork have been sold.
Costco CEO Craig Jelinek claims that founder Jim Sinegal said the now-famous line, “Margins on quarter-pound frank are bad for business,” in response to Jelinek’s criticism of the profit margins on the product. He threatened his assailant, “If you raise the [price of the] f—ing hot dog, I will kill you.”
According to Jacob, the design is a big hit for his side business, and he thinks that’s because consumers view Costco as a brand that’s on their side.
“It seems like the price of everything is going up,” he says. It’s nice to know that there’s a business out there that won’t take advantage of its clients.
After seeing the image on a bumper sticker, Louisville, Kentucky business owner Rich Erwin started selling a Costco hot dog tee.
He attributes the recent increase in sales to the “outrageous” value of the $1.50 combo and notes that the shirt’s popularity has grown over the previous month.
He informs the folks at Make It that if they wear the shirt out in public, “other people who are also as excited about the lore of the $1.50 hot dog from Costco will come talk to you about this shirt.”
Jacob acknowledges that he is not a Costco cardholder despite the success of his idea.
I’m not [a member], he declares. My girlfriend, though, is. So I get to tag along with her occasionally and witness it firsthand.
A Costco spokesman said, “We don’t want to talk about it.”