Mini Blizzard coming from Dairy Queen.
Served in specially designed cups, the Mini Blizzard is about half the size of a small 12 oz. Blizzard and, according to Dairy Queen, has performed well in many test locations over the last nine months. The new Mini represents a portion size that seems to resonate with many different types of customers for many different reasons.
Based on test store performance, Keller expects the Mini to be a hit among many DQ customers. "We had more than 90 percent consumer satisfaction ratings on several key measures in our test markets for the new Mini. The size and price really appeal to many consumers and in fact create a very strong perceived value for the new Mini," he said. In most stores, the Mini will likely be priced between $1.99 and $2.49. The Mini will be added to the current Blizzard size line up of 12 oz., 16 oz. and 21 oz.
In addition to the Mini, Dairy Queen has unveiled a custom-designed Blizzardmobile that will roll out to 25 cities across the U.S. and Canada, distributing more than 75,000 free Mini Blizzards. The tour, which kicks off in New York on April 8 and 9, is described as "a high energy celebration" that includes activities, games, music, a chance to win prizes and giveaways of the free Minis, all while raising awareness and funds for Children's Miracle Network.
The body of the Blizzardmobile is shaped like the 25th birthday cup topped with an Oreo Blizzard, including the red spoon. Red spoons also decorate the top of the truck's cab and serve as windshield wipers. Upside down Blizzard cups have replaced the side mirrors. Red lips, a staple of Dairy Queen's television commercials, adorn the front, side and rear of the truck. The side panels will open into the truck's interior where more than 2,000 Blizzard samples will be served in each city. "Our goal was for this truck to really stand out as it drove through cities and towns across North America," said Keller. "And I'd say we accomplished that. It's definitely noticeable."
Custom designed for fun with activities that will connect Blizzard fans with their favorite treat, the Blizzardmobile will stop at several select locations in each of the 25 cities during the tour. Some stops will feature an extensive celebration that includes an emcee, music, photo opportunities, a "snow storm," free Mini Blizzards and a chance to experience the Blizzard Blaster--a giant, upside down, inflatable Blizzard cup filled with chilled, swirling scented air. Blizzard fans will don goggles and arctic mittens fashioned with oversized spoons as they step into the Blizzard Blaster for 25 seconds to try and grab coupons, amid swirling confetti, for prizes. Some stops will be quick sampling events at local DQ stores determined by Blizzard fan club members who will vote to decide at which location the vehicle will stop.
Fans will be able to keep track of the Blizzardmobile online at Facebook.com/DairyQueen through photos, videos and blog posts. A complete list of future tour stops and dates is also available on the company's Facebook page. Visitors online will also find a series of webisodes starring Blizzard's first family the Blizzmanns. The webisodes trace the Blizzmanns' life on the road chasing the Blizzardmobile complete with sing-a-longs, teenage crushes, a run-in with the police and make-up lessons from disgruntled clowns.
In addition, Dairy Queen is hosting several other activities online including photo and video contests. The celebrations and contests will be promoted on Facebook.com/DairyQueen, Twitter.com/DairyQueen and blog.DairyQueen.com. "Operation Happy Birthday" launches May 1 on the Dairy Queen blog and invites bloggers, video bloggers, families and anyone with a camera, camcorder or mobile recording device to record and submit a video clip, no longer than one minute, with their most original, creative or funny version of singing "Happy Birthday" to the Blizzard. Purchases are not required and submission information is available May 1 at blog. DairyQueen.com. The challenge ends Aug. 1, when 100 videos will be selected and featured on Dairy Queen's Facebook page and YouTube channel (YouTube.com/dqvideos). The top 100 entrants will receive a $25 Dairy Queen gift card.
The "Capture the Cup" photo contest launches on June 1 on the Dairy Queen Facebook page, inviting DQ fans to submit photos of themselves interacting with a Blizzard in both fun and unique situations and places. Fan votes throughout the contest will determine the best photo. The winning photographer will be awarded free Blizzards for a year. The contest and voting run from June 1-July 31. Information and rules will be posted to Facebook.com/DairyQueen by June 1.
In new flavor news, Dairy Queen continues the 25th birthday of the Blizzard celebration in-store with new Blizzards beginning in April with the Ooey Gooey Caramel Brownie Blizzard. New Blizzard of the Month flavors also will be introduced in May, June and July. Then from April 19-25 Dairy Queen locations will celebrate Customer Appreciation Week when fans can buy one Blizzard and get a second for 25 cents.
"This is a momentous chapter in Dairy Queen history as we celebrate the 25th birthday of our signature Blizzard Treat and the 70th anniversary of the brand," said chief brand officer Keller. "Dairy Queen is all about connecting with our customers and the Blizzardmobile will engage Blizzard fans all over North America with the treat they love in exciting new ways. This is a one-of-a-kind celebration for an iconic brand with a vehicle that will be hard to miss both in person and through an integrated online marketing campaign."