Feel-Good Marketing Fridays: Dairy Queen Miracle Treat Day

Marie Osmond 'busting out blizzards' on 'Miracle Treat Day' benefitting children's Miracle Network Hospitals, at the Dairy Queen, Las Vegas. Photo via Newscom

Yesterday marked the 5th annual Dairy Queen Miracle Treat Day, also known as my favorite day of the year. Miracle Treat Day is the one day of the year that I can enjoy a delicious ice cream treat from DQ and not have to worry about how it will affect my waistline. Instead, I can feel proud of how my purchase is benefiting sick and injured children in my local community. Dairy Queen’s partnership with the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital is one of my favourite feel-good marketing stories, and one that many other companies should try to emulate.

Feel Like a Kid Again

Miracle Treat Day is a great marketing campaign for a number of reasons. If you’ve read any of my previous Feel-Good Marketing posts, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of companies that create campaigns with the sole purpose of benefiting a charity rather than their bottom line. The purpose of the Miracle Treat Day at DQ is to raise funds for more than 170 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals worldwide. Each year, these hospitals treat roughly 17 million children. What better way to help raise money for children then with ice cream? Kids love ice cream, and now, thanks to Dairy Queen, ice cream loves kids.

Staying Involved

Miracle Treat Day has been an affective marketing venture for Dairy Queen five years running because the company puts an awful lot of time and effort into promoting the event. From email newsletters to radio ads, I always know when Miracle Treat Day is just around the corner. What’s more, the higher-ups at Dairy Queen make it a point to physically participate in the day’s charitably events too. It’s a tradition on the day of the event for the President and CEO of Dairy Queen to skip the office and head straight to a local hospital to personally deliver hundreds of Blizzard treats to children and their families. Sure, the management likely does this in order to generate good press, but who wouldn’t love delivering free ice cream to children? I’d take that over board meetings and conference calls any day.

Franchise owners are also dedicated to making this fundraising event work. Statistics from the event show that in 2009, DeLon Mork, the owner of a Dairy Queen franchise in Madison, South Dakota, sold more than 18,000 Miracle Treats in order to raise funds. The amazing part? His franchise is located in a town where the population is just 6,000 people.

Supporting a Continued Success

Dairy Queen has been supporting the Children’s Miracle Network since 1984. Since then, Dairy Queen has helped raise more than $77 million. Miracle Treat Day is the largest fundraising event that DQ holds in honour of the charity, which has at least $1 from the sale of each Dairy Queen Blizzard Treat being donated to the charity. If you missed this year’s Miracle Treat Day, don’t worry – I am confident that Dairy Queen will continue this feel-good marketing campaign for many years to come.

As a kid, ice cream was my cure for everything. It’s nice to know that it still has the same healing powers today as it did some 20 odd years ago.