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Special Project

Special Project
From the 14th Annual Shorty Awards

DQ Designer on Break Viral Facebook Post

Entered in Meme, Single Post or Activation


In partnership with DQ clients, the Barkley team's objective was to drive engagement and conversation volume by being culturally relevant and balancing promotional content with brand love.

Our goal was to implement a modern approach to organic social content by showcasing DQ’s authentic and fun brand voice––creating happiness while ultimately building affinity with current fans and new audiences. This helps DQ build a deeper connection with their target audience and establish category preference. We're creating happy faces and happy stomachs, ya feel?

Strategy and Execution

Barkley's strategy for this social post was to break the fourth wall using a new and entertaining format. We intentionally made the most garish image possible using existing DQ images and stock assets. The copy explained “Our designer’s out ice skating today. This is the best we could do.” which humanized the DQ brand in a funny and relatable way.

We chose to post it during the week between Christmas and the New Year, which was perfect timing for a brand to say their Designer is out of office. It's 2022 and social audiences crave content that is REAL, NOT “perfect,” so we helped DQ answer the call with this creative strategy and (spoiler alert) it struck gold.


This organic post blew our objective and goals out of the water on Facebook. Without boosting or paid support, it quickly reached over 2 MILLION people––garnering 82,640 reactions, comments and shares to date.

This post went viral within 24 hours and ended up with 12,808 shares. Its engagement rate was *325%* above the average for DQ, and *997%* above the average number of impressions. 

Audience sentiment was entirely positive as the comment section exploded, allowing us to have fun engaging in community management. We even followed it up with another post asking, Is this our new ✨design aesthetic✨? 

These results prove that social audiences will embrace playfully self-aware brands like DQ, demonstrating the importance of authentic connections in the digital space.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Barkley, Dairy Queen


Entry Credits