The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

DQ Fall Blizzard Menu x Taylor Swift Midnights

Entered in Single Post or Activation


It’s me, hi, I’m the post, it’s me.

When Taylor Swift speaks, the internet listens. The announcement of her 10th studio album, Midnights, was accompanied by the album art on August 28th. Millions of fans began engaging and reposting the exciting news, with the Midnights artwork being shared widely.

Barkley’s team quickly noticed she posted exactly one day before DQ’s marketing calendar planned to drop the New Fall Blizzard Treat lineup (also much anticipated news.) 

Our goal was to be the first brand on the social scene celebrating with Taylor and all the Swifties, with an unexpected bonus — the announcement of Dairy Queen’s beloved Fall Blizzard Treat flavors. 


When it comes to trending celebrity moments, you gotta act fast to participate in the buzz. 

Thankfully, we have data that shows DQ Fans over index in Spotify usage AND they are the person in their friend circle people trust for music advice. With that info, we had to act on this opportunity.

Within mere hours of Taylor's announcement, our social team whipped up a DQ Fall Blizzard Treat Menu x Midnights parody with a clever caption mimicking Taylor’s. (Swifties have a keen eye for easter eggs like this.)

Our design replaced elements of the album art with DQ Fall Blizzard Menu imagery and included all of the delicious flavors in place of song titles. We aimed to capitalize on the now instantly recognizable Midnights layout.

If you work in the social space, you know legal departments can be the biggest creative hurdle of them all. We crossed our fingers, sent an email…and got the green light almost immediately! 

With an added silent prayer to Taylor’s legal team, we posted the DQ image to Instagram and Twitter: “The story of 6 legendary treats is out today. Meet me at the pumpkin patch.”


Well. Let’s just say we’re 99.9% confident in declaring that all DQ Fans are now Swifties, and all Swifties are now DQ Fans. 

Massive overlap in the fandoms created a powerful result: this organic social post was @dairyqueen’s TOP PERFORMING POST EVER at the time on Instagram. Brand love poured into the comments as fans discovered the DQ Social Manager is also a Swiftie. 

Our DQ Fall Blizzard Menu x Taylor Swift Midnights parody garnered 345,576 impressions (429% higher than DQ’s average) and 15,096 engagements (317% above average) on Insta. On Twitter it resulted in 56,916 impressions, which is 233% above our average per tweet — not too shabby without a paid boost.

Not to mention, our post was being shared via thousands of our followers’ IG stories and our @ mentions went through the roof! 

This kind of success for an organic post opened the door for DQ to engage in even more primetime moments regarding stuff our audience cares about. We easily decided to show Taylor some more love with a follow up Midnights-inspired IG post and tweet in anticipation the night before her album release. 

Our favorite outcome of all, however, was authentically connecting with the DQ audience through all the fun banter via community management. We just wanna stay in that lavender haze.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Barkley, Dairy Queen


Entry Credits