DQ, Oreo Partner On Blizzard 25th Anniversary

Oreo Blizzard box Dairy Queen's first 30-second television commercial promoting the 25th anniversary of its Blizzard drink -- the spot showing the "Blizzmann family" making a sudsy escape from a car wash to pursue the Blizzard Mobile after learning of the mobile's national tour -- was hard to miss last month.

But that spot, and other Blizzard anniversary national network and cable TV ads that will be airing in June, July and August (both new 30-second ones featuring the Blizzmanns and 15-second "monthly specials" spots featuring DQ's talking 'spokes lips' animated character), are just one component of a major, integrated marketing program that includes a special anniversary partnership with Kraft Foods' Oreo brand.

Oreo/Kraft and DQ have a long-standing relationship: The Oreo Blizzard is the #1 selling flavor of the frosty drink, according to Dairy Queen International chief brand officer Michael Keller, who adds that Blizzards as a whole represent a $600 million annual business in the U.S. and Canada alone.



Now, for the anniversary, added elements to the Oreo/DQ partnership include the release of limited-edition Oreo Blizzard cookies at retail, Oreo's title sponsorship of the Blizzard Mobile tour, and Facebook-based promotions by each brand that include cross-promotions driving social media traffic and synergies for both.

"Dairy Queen's patrons are also Oreo's retail consumers," notes Kraft Foods director, marketing services Michael Miller. "We've worked together successfully for years for the mutual benefit of the brands, so expanding and enhancing the partnership for the Blizzard's 25th anniversary was a natural."

On the cookie front, the limited-edition Oreo Blizzard boxes began appearing in all of Oreo's retail channels, including grocery chains and mass retailers like Walmart and Target, in late April and were in all stores by May 10. Some retailers are featuring them in the limited-edition Oreo shelf space they reserve next to regular Oreos; some are displaying them on end caps or in featured displays.

Initial buzz from retailers on sales and repeat purchases of the Oreo Blizzard cookies has been strong enough that DQ and Kraft are already discussing the possibility of bringing the special cookie flavor back next year, report Keller and Miller.

Meanwhile, Oreo's title sponsorship of the Blizzard Mobile tour, which will stop in one or more cities within 25 markets in the U.S. and Canada between April and mid-August, includes numerous exposure opportunities for the leading cookie brand. Oreo has high visibility on the sides and top of the truck (meaning that Oreo also gets exposure each time the mobile is shown in commercials or in DQ's Facebook and other promotions).

In addition, most of the roughly 100,000 free Mini Blizzards that will be given out during the course of the tour will be of the Oreo variety. (DQ will roll out its smaller-sized Mini Blizzard as a new menu offering in July, Keller reports.)

DQ's main brand Facebook fan area (nearly 970,000 fans) is heavily promoting the Blizzard anniversary party tour not only in the wall, but through content tabs devoted to the Blizzmanns (photos, videos and more documenting their adventures at each stop of the tour); a tour map and local-stop locator tool; a guide to the 25 Blizzard anniversary flavors; and a tool for tagging friends as one of the 25 flavors and passing those tags along.

In addition, the DQ Facebook fan area includes numerous promotions for the separate, Facebook-based Blizzard Fan Club, a proprietary area with membership that has jumped from 2.1 million to 2.6 million since the start of this year, according to Keller. Those who sign up for the Blizzard club by providing name, email address, country of residence and birth date are entitled to six "buy one Blizzard, get one free" coupons per year.

Both the DQ and Blizzard Fan Club Facebook areas cross-promote Oreo's Facebook fan area (more than 4.5 million fans) -- which in turn includes a content tab devoted to promoting the Oreo Blizzard, the Oreo Blizzard limited-edition cookies, the Blizzard Mobile tour, and the Blizzard Fan Club and its "buy one, get one" coupons. (The Oreo Blizzard cookie packages also promote the Blizzard Fan Club and coupons, plus a bonus $1 off coupon good on any Oreo Blizzard treat purchase at DQ locations.)

The Blizzard Mobile tour also ties in with DQ's ongoing, cause-related support program for Children's Miracle Network of children's hospitals in the U.S. and Canada, bringing an element of further goodwill for DQ and Oreo as its sponsor.

The U.S. and Canadian legs of the tour will conclude on the days that DQ has designated as 2010's "Miracle Treat Days" (Aug. 5 in the U.S., Aug. 12 in Canada). On those days, the majority of funds raised come from DQ donating a portion of every Blizzard sold to the hospitals; however, this year, consumers who visit the Blizzard Mobile for a free Mini Blizzard will also be able to make donations to the hospitals in canisters available on the mobile.

Adding another DQ/Oreo partnership component, a Strawberry Golden Oreo Blizzard flavor will debut at DQ's in June, and packages of Golden Oreos at retail will promote the new drink flavor, report Keller and Miller.

Next story loading loading..