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Fan Food, Not Fast Food: DQ Launches New Campaign
By: Heather Ewert
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Dairy Queen launched several new commercials over the Memorial Day weekend. After 15 years, they’ve severed ties with their old agency, Grey New York, and they’ve decided to take a more grounded approach in reaching their audience. The theme of the new campaign is “Fan Food, Not Fast Food,” and the company aims to brand their frozen confections as happy memories and sweet indulgences rather than average, run-of-the-mill fast food. Except, DQ is fast food, in the purest sense of the word. It’s ordered fast, it’s made fast, and it’s eaten fast. So how are they differentiating themselves from other fast-food restaurants?

It seems like everyone wants to have access to fast food, but the label itself has become something of a dirty word: McDonald’s draws your attention away from it by focusing on fresh ingredients and low-calorie options; Subway still pressures you to “eat fresh” and advertises that Jarod has kept his extra weight off for 15 years by sticking to their menu; Taco Bell has healthy options and focuses on advertising the quality of the ingredients, as well as the carefree attitude that goes along with their brand’s image. All of these restaurants genuinely offer fast food, but instead of focusing on that, they hone in on the feeling of enjoyment that their customers get while eating, and of course, the valued pricing of their menu items. And DQ echoes that. They want consumers see refreshing foods that remind them of the perfect frozen treat.

Another thing that DQ chooses to use in their new campaign is nostalgia. The company has strong brand loyalty, and they aim to capitalize on it. They want consumers — namely, adults that have grown up with the brand — to feel that they’re eating the same delicious treats that they’ve been fans of their entire lives, not just any old fast food. By showing scenes of adults and kids enjoying “their DQ” — an upside-down Blizzard or swirly ice cream, perhaps — and combining the imagery with pictures of fresh ingredients, they hope to create a new “brand anthem” that will speak to all generations. The music brings to mind simplicity, and the style of cinematography reminds the viewer of a hand-held camera. When you combine all these elements, you can see that the entire campaign is meant to evoke the desire to share the happiness you feel when eating their food. In fact, DQ hopes that you’ll want to go out with your kids and create your own tradition of getting an upside-down Blizzard on a hot summer day.

Watch the new spots here.


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About the Author
Heather Ewert is a content writer for an internet marketing company. She enjoys creative writing as well and blogs in her personal time at http://infernoofcool.wordpress.com/. She lives in sunny Southern California with her boyfriend, Snowshoe kitty, and her collection of Warcraft novels.
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