The first month's rollout of the waffle bowls and cones has generated the highest per-store sales in more than three-and-a-half years, said Chief Brand Officer Michael Keller. The launch is on track to become a $100- to-$150-million brand this season.
With DQ waffle bowl sundaes selling for an average $3.50, and waffle cones at $2.60, the products average $1 or more less than those of competitors such as Cold Stone Creamery.
"We've been watching waffle bowls for a couple of years now, and decided it was time," Keller said. "We have a value advantage and with gas prices what they are and the economy where it is, we think this can be very attractive to consumers."
Dairy Queen has put $25 million in marketing support behind the launch. It's "Made for Each Other" national TV spots from Grey Worldwide are being supported with a variety of efforts in social media.
A "Freeze/Click/Win" promotion at www.freezeclickwin.com invites visitors to submit photos of themselves with DQ treats. The top 10 photos are posted, and each day the one voted tops by the community wins $500.
A 6-minute variation on the "Made for Each Other" spots featuring a Las Vegas wedding of characters "Waffle Bowl" and "Soft Serve" was posted on YouTube and has drawn 23,047 in its first two weeks.
DQ also created a MySpace page for the brand. The digital initiatives are being promoted on in-store displays, through the 1.3-million member Blizzard Fan Club, and in tags on TV, and radio spots.
"The idea," said Keller, "is to create as much surround sound as possible."