USA Today by Mike Snider
August 27, 2018
The town of Mayo is dressing up its name, at least for a few days.
The small north-central Florida town changed its name to “Miracle Whip” as part of a branding prank to draw attention to the city and the Kraft Heinz salad dressing product.
Saturday, the city unveiled its water tower with the new name atop it and hosted a picnic featuring foods made with Miracle Whip. In exchange for being known as Miracle Whip for several days, the city will get up to $25,000 in city beautification funds.
As part of the prank, city officials initially were to act as if the name change was permanent. “We aren’t going to be boring Mayo anymore. We are going to be Miracle Whip!” Mayor Ann Murphy said. “I definitely think this will put us on the map.”
The Kraft Heinz promotions team planned to capture video footage of residents talking about the name change and swapping out the mayonnaise in their refrigerator with Miracle Whip. (By the way, Miracle Whip includes many of the same ingredients – oil, eggs, vinegar and water – as mayonnaise but does not have enough oil to be called mayonnaise.)
But in a small town such as Mayo, which has fewer than 1,500 residents, the fact that the name change isn’t really permanent wasn’t destined to remain a secret for long. “Everybody knows everybody. It’s been kind of difficult to keep everything under wraps,” town clerk Linda Cone said.
The city of Mayo – named after Confederate Col. James Mayo – is the county seat of Lafayette County, the state’s second-least-populous county. The area’s largest employer is a state prison.