Garfield's AdReview

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It's not just that Dairy Queen is, like, the 408th fast-food chain in America. And it's not just that half of the country doesn't even know they serve meat because DQ is synonymous with, like, the Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Blizzard Treat.

It's all that plus being called-heh heh-Dairy Queen.

Quite a crown to bear. So it's sure a lucky thing that, at least for the moment, this wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire-Hathaway has the best fast-food advertising in the world. In fact, we're, like, lovin' it.

We began lovin' it last summer, when we first encountered the guy with the speech problems. He was addressing the camera: "I remember it quite vividly. It was about a month ago, and my wife was baking brownies. ..."

Only he sounded as if he had no tongue. Turns out, he'd been licking the batter off of the electric-mixer beaters when, in one of the greatest flashback sequences you'll ever see, he inadvertently switched the thing on and much shrieking ensued. It was simply wet-your-pants hilarious, in a "World's Funniest Home Videos" sort of way. It also, in its own way, made perfect sense: The pitch was for the delicious, and less dangerous, DQ Brownie Batter Blizzard.

A genuine highlight of 2004, but not necessarily the ad to send DQ catapulting up to 407th.

The blender incident, however, was not Grey, Los Angeles' last word on the subject. The agency has spun out one great spot after another. They're all funny, too, but that's not the point. What mainly distinguishes them is how cleverly they dramatize alleged product benefits.

For instance, the spot promoting the Quarter-Pound Grill Burger. The premise is that the sandwich is so big you'll need both hands to eat it. So Grey shows us a cop frisking a subject with a ridiculous, duct-taped-on mannequin arm. Likewise a karate exhibition, a very bad manicure, a prostate exam (compulsory joke) and a dad giving a bottle to his baby.

These are all very funny, but the drop-dead line is the dad awkwardly using his third arm to nab the bottle nipple in the vicinity of the infant's mouth, while stuffing his own face and protesting "Daddy loves you sooooo much." An ordinary sentiment rendered hilarious by the situation. Absolute genius.

Maybe our favorite of all, though, is the simplest. It's for the Brownie Earthquake sundae and shows only a young couple sensually savoring one slow spoonful after another. The boyfriend takes a bite and says "Mmmmm." He feeds her a spoonful and she, eyes shut, goes "Mmmmmm." It's an erotic lovefest. Only, since the lady's eyes are closed, the guy exploits his turns to wolf down eight fast spoons full. It's a laugh-out-loud image on first viewing or 12th.

The tagline is "DQ Something Different," which is essentially "Think Outside the Bun" with ice cream. The fact is that lots of onlookers would love to lick the beaters for a taste of McDonald's and Subway's market share. Until recently, DQ had not a chance in the world of doing so. Suddenly it has a presence.

And suddenly a new reason for thinking "Dairy Queen-heh heh."

Dairy Queen

Grey, Los Angeles

Ad Review Rating: 4 stars

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