Free Cone Day has become a staple holiday for Dairy Queen and often serves as the unofficial start to spring, a time where we all begin to find it acceptable to indulge in our favorite frozen goodies. In an effort to further cement itself as a treat leader in the quick-service restaurant space, DQ® tasked Barkley with creating an activation and social campaign that would stand out from competing offers and encourage soft-serve lovers to go grab their free cone on the first day of spring.

With that, treat szn, was born: a celebratory tagline used to coin the happiest time of year. The phrase was born out of Gen-Z slang and follows the mantra of not needing a specific reason to make a DQ® run, other than that life is short, and we all deserve a self-love.
The campaign garnered almost 170 million impressions, well surpassing its KPI of 105 million, and earned national media coverage on outlets such as USA Today, Good Morning America and Fox News.

The concept eventually took on a bigger life following Free Cone Day, and has, in a way, become an ownable expression for the brand.
Creative Director(s): Stacia Weiss and Eileen Hogan
Copywriter: Ryne Mitra
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