At noon, the 15-foot brat was lowered. Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo from the Food Network's 2 Dudes Catering show, along with passersby, chanted "Drop the brat. Drop the brat."
Once the brat hit, a loud sizzling sound could be heard throughout the surrounding blocks of metropolitan Chicago. A tuft of smoke was also released into the air. Apparently, the publicity stunt worked. About 1,100 brats were handed out, along with 25,000 Johnsonville coupons and a slew of T-shirts and other giveaways from radio partners WZZN-FM and ESPN Radio.
A "Daylight Savings Sweepstakes" at Johnsonville's web site supported the effort. Lucky winners, through March 30, received one of 10 Weber grills, logoed barbeque tongs and a host of other prizes.
Apparently the installation looked a little too real to some. "I had to explain so many times during the permitting process that there was no actual grilling to be done on the grill. It's a prop, people," says the national program director for the company that helped create the event. "Chicago is a big grilling town … it's great for sausage and steak." And, it's especially great for giant faux brats.