Posted by: Laura Phillips Garner | April 22, 2010

Meet the Blizzmanns and Have Some DQ

Blizzard Fan Club fans voted on the Blizzard 25th Birthday logo.

The DQ, like many other well-known brands, is recognizing the value of digital marketing and fully integrating it with traditional means of reaching the consumer.

The 70-year-old International Dairy Queen (IDQ) is running a fully-integrated marketing communications campaign for the first time with The DQ Blizzard 25th Birthday Party Tour, DQ Chief Marketing Officer Michael Keller told Comet Branding Radio. The Blizzardmobile “drives through the marketing mix” as all national television advertising, social media, public relations and in-store point of purchase displays reflects the on-the-street experience the Blizzardmobile brings to consumers, Keller said. Grey New York, part of the Grey Group of WPP, is the DQ’s agency for the campaign, which celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Blizzard and the August introduction of the 6-ounce Mini Blizzard, reported Stuart Elliott of The New York Times.

Dairy Queen is big business. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owns Minneapolis, Minn.-based IDQ, which services a system of more than 5,700 Dairy Queen stores in the United States, Canada and 22 other countries. Hoover’s reports that the nearly 5,000 Dairy Queen franchises in the U.S. had $91.5 million in sales in 2009. The company is part of a fast-food restaurant industry that had $184 billion in revenue and $8.3 billion in profit in 2009, according to IBISWorld’s Fast Food Restaurants in the US Industry Report.

DQ is promoting The DQ Blizzard 25th Birthday Party Tour with a series of four 30-second national television commercials featuring the Blizzmanns, a wacky family of four that loves Blizzards so much that they follow the Blizzardmobile across the country. In the first commercial, which started airing on national network television when the campaign kicked off April 1, the Blizzmanns race to get into their car as it is washed at a car wash so they can try to catch the Blizzardmobile before it gets away.

DQ also will treat (pun intended) those hungry (again, pun intended) to follow the Blizzmanns on their quest to catch the Blizzardmobile to a series of Webisodes that chronicle the adventure that will appear on the DQ Facebook Fan Page and A second production crew shot the online videos during the filming of the commercials with the funniest material improvised by the actors and shot with hand-held Flip-cams on breaks from the scripted Webisodes, Keller said.

For those not close enough to one of the 25 cities on the tour, or crazy enough to be like the Blizzmanns and follow the Blizzardmobile across the country, DQ is providing tour updates via Facebook and Twitter. The DQ folks also are creating videos and shooting photos of every stop and putting them up on Facebook, and DQ Chad is recapping every event on the Dairy Queen Blog.

The only element missing for some is a DQ Blizzard Treat, and DQ is betting that those who can’t make it to a Blizzardmobile will be at their local Dairy Queens. Measurements for the campaign are sales growth throughout the DQ system, television target rating points, and the impact on digital assets including increases in traffic to Web sites, the size of the Blizzard Fan Club, fans on the Facebook Fan Page, and the number of Tweets the campaign gets. Nielsen’s BuzzMetrics will measure digital buzz for DQ, Keller said.

–Laura Phillips Garner

Editor’s Note: Wait. There’s more. Learn about how DQ has integrated user-generated content into the campaign in the last post in the series on The DQ Blizzard 25th Birthday Party Tour. Read the first post in the series, here.



  1. […] Editor’s Note: Create That Content, Blizzard Fans is the third post in a three-part series on The DQ Blizzard 25th Birthday Party Tour integrated marketing communications campaign. Read the first post in the series, Dairy Queen Takes Party to the People With Blizzardmobile, here and the second post, Meet the Blizzmanns and Have Some DQ, here. […]

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