Dairy Queen picks Barkley as new AOR

Dec. 21, 2012

American Dairy Queen Corporation (ADQ) has named Barkley as its new advertising agency of record after a four month formal agency review.

Founded in 1964, Barkley is the largest employee-owned advertising agency in the U.S. with offices in Kansas City, Mo., Pittsburgh and Boulder, Colo.

Barry Westrum, executive vice president of Marketing for ADQ, said the company was especially impressed with Barkley's creative approach, experience and understanding of the DQ brand and the quick-service industry.

The agency's clients include Krispy Kreme, Applebee's, Quiznos, Casey's General Store and On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, as well as other non-restaurant brands such as Sprint, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Weight Watchers and more.

"They captured the soul of our brand in a unique, contemporary and relevant manner. Barkley understands the untapped power of the DQ brand lies within the hearts and minds of our consumers and franchisees," Westrum said. "We are confident that Barkley will showcase the DQ brand not only as the treat category leader, but as something different and something better."

Barkley will be responsible for all television creative as well as other touch points in the U.S. and Canada. The first of the new national television commercials will begin launching this spring. The campaign, according to Westrum, will reinforce the brand's positioning as "contemporary and relevant for today's consumer."

"Agencies are best known by the company they keep, and a brand like DQ is pretty amazing company," said Jeff King, CEO of Barkley. "We are so excited about this partnership. We believe the best advertising in the world simply tells the truth in an interesting way, and this brand has some powerful truths. We can't wait to help tell the DQ story."

According to data from Kantar, Dairy Queen spent $77 million on domestic measured media last year. The company, owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, is headquartered in Minneapolis and includes 6,000-plus locations in the U.S. and 19 other countries.

According to Ad Age, Barkley succeeds DQ's 15-year AOR, WPP's Grey, which did not defend.

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Topics: Marketing / Branding / Promotion , Online / Mobile / Social , Operations Management

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