How Dairy Queen Helped Millennials Own Valentine’s Day

Posted by: Jeff Fromm

It’s time to say goodbye to the old adage of “Valentine’s Day is for couples.”

After all, the average age of marriage for Millennials is significantly higher than it was for Boomers and their lifestyle is anything but linear.

To celebrate this trend this Valentine’s Day, we’d like to #breakthecliche and take a moment to appreciate the work of Dairy Queen and our partners at ad agency Barkley on bringing this sweet holiday to the masses.

In 2016, they found that singles outnumbered married couples in the United States for the first time ever. To honor those who proudly fly solo – 72% of singles actually enjoy this day! – the Singles Blizzard was introduced. Singles celebrating themselves were encouraged to find their nearest DQ location and indulge on the frozen treat, while a free Singles Blizzard was offered to those newly single via social. As a result, DQ became the Valentine’s Day destination for everyone – even those happily paired with a significant other!

Why did this work?

For brands today, anything but authentic marketing will be quickly pushed aside. The question so many creatives hate to answer, “but is this on brand?” has never been more important. With so much noise in the market, it is easy for consumers to spot phonies. Brands that build campaigns around the their core brand idea and align with their brand authority have the potential to stand out from the crowd.

**As a reminder: when we talk about brand authority, we are talking about the conversations a brand can have beyond just the product or service.

Download the full report on Brand Authority now!

For Dairy Queen, the core brand idea is about fan food, not fast food. DQ is an iconic brand that has truly built a relationship with it’s users. The value add is not just a quick meal on the go — it’s much deeper than that. Because DQ ideated around the core purpose of its brand and took the time to truly understand and engage with its brand authority, it was able to achieve more than 30 million media impressions in just two weeks with outlets such as Mashable, ENews!, The Atlantic and The Huffington Post. The brand also drove a seven percent sales increase on Valentine’s Day alone.

That’s fan food, not fast food.

Disclosure: Dairy Queen has an ongoing relationship with FutureCast parent company, Barkley.

About Jeff Fromm

Although not a Millennial as defined by his age, Jeff Fromm is the Millennial Marketing Guy. Jeff is President of FutureCast, a marketing consultancy that specializes in Millennial trends, and is a contributing writer at...See Jeff's full bio.