Dairy Queen has likely had relative (to other fast food establishments) problems since day one for the following reason: they are a semi-seasonal business. It’s not like people don’t get a craving for some ice cream in the winter, and their cakes are certainly all-year-round viable, but the ostensible facts are such that the bulk of their profits would have to come in the summer. To build up your brand as an ice cream establishment as such means that, invariably, you are going to suffer on the food side of things.
To compensate for this, their marketing, since the beginning, has been more or less superb.
Innovative, funny, memorably—and that’s mostly why I’m writing this—but to get to where we need to go, we need to first take a look at the disparity they’ve been dealing with in terms of the hot and cold side of the menu.
Blizzard – is a fairly creative name for an ice cream treat, especially since you can kind of picture huge chunks of stuff flying around in an actual blizzard, and if those chunks were relatively-life-sized pieces of Oreo, or Reeses’ Pieces, that would be the most delicious meteorological event ever. It’s the staple of their business.
Dilly Bar – is an amazing name for a stick-treat as it just rolls of a child’s tongue. It’s silly, it’s dilly, it’s…yeah you’re buying one.
The Ice Cream Cakes – are cool looking, and reasonably priced; the materials can’t cost much. It is maybe their best item from a business standpoint.
Now let’s take a look at the food menu:
The Grillburger – is, if you cannot tell from the thick mist of redundancy clouding the name, the name of their hamburger. And you know what? This successfully conveys to the audience who is aiming for the most pragmatic signification of whether this patty of meat will be grilled or fried.
The Iron-Grilled Sandwich – this is an iron-grilled sandwich. That is, a sandwich that is pressed with an iron. Not the ‘Grillwhich,’ the ‘Ironman,’ or whatever; no, another literal description. Once again we see the theme of pragmatism here vytorin drug.
Chicken Sandwich – Yeah, it basically continues on like this.
The Grill Burger Options – The burger comes in Mushroom Swiss (which I think sounds ill-advised) and Flamethrower variations. In the latter we find a little bit of a redemption because I realized that Dairy Queen was constantly throwing out these inferno hot sandwiches for a specific reason: in the winter, you want to (psychologically) warm the person up; you want to negate that implicit assumption that the restaurant’s air is going to be cooler because it’s filled with frozen things. (In fact in writing this article I’ve had to turn the heat up.) The hot/cold paradigm, if I have pegged this correctly, was the five-head guy years. You know, that tall funny guy with the overly large forehead. Here, take a look:
He was/is funny; they had a plan, and they were executing it; I think ultimately, though, simply pouring hot sauce on burgers isn’t really a viable campaign. Not a lot of people like that kind of hot. I don’t think it worked that well. I think we can say that the food, on the whole, hasn’t worked that well. A bunch of non-descript stuff and the one thing they put some serious marketing into, the Flamethrower, was moderately successful at best.
Obviously this blog is basically baseless speculation, and don’t know their numbers, but I went to a Dairy Queen a couple years ago and was surprised to pay like $94.60 for a large Blizzard. I thought to myself then about the business and basically assumed they were struggling. I had basically forgot about, except on birthdays, until…
Old Spice came along. Yes, that’s right, Old Spice. As in, the deoderant company. I haven’t done a blog post or article on that ad campaign because everything has pretty much been said, and it amounts to: it was/is simply an amazing campaign. The definition of a viral, lasting-impression brand identity. So amazing, in fact, that Dairy Queen decided to copy them. (Amongst others, a bit less overtly.)
And it worked. At least, it would appear. DQ has been pumpig out advertisement after advertisement, seemingly with no end in site, so I think it’s safe to assume it’s working. Our iced treat friends hopped onto that meteoric rise into the atmosphere of what advertising can be, and they managed to hang on long enough to at least see it in the distance. Sure, there a couple blogs like mine pointing out the overt plagiarism occurring, but I’m not exactly saying it’s wrong—because in business you basically lie, copy, cheat, or steal…or simply do it first. Dairy Queen choose the copy option; if they want to be the manufactured-in-China, quantity-over-quality equivalent in advertising I doubt their shareholders care so long as, (Kevin O’Leary would say,) they are making money. In that pragmatic sense, the quality of an advertisement really is quite subjective don’t you think?