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DQ Inks 'Digimon' Tie-In

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"Digimon," the hit Fox Kids/Fox Family Channel cartoon that launched in fall 1999, will get its biggest U.S. fast food tie-in next year.

Dairy Queen will promote "Digimon" with an estimated $2 million worth of ads on Fox Kids, Nickelodeon and other kids-targeted television networks, an in-store sweepstakes supported by Fox Kids.com, extensive in-store signage and 16 premium items. The program will launch in June 2002.

DQ's expenditures on such things as commercial production, sweepstakes, online promotion and signage will boost its commitment to "Digimon" to nearly $4 million, according to a source familiar with the deal. The promotion is part of a new strategy by the 5,800-store Dairy Queen chain to concentrate its media dollars and tie-ins during the April-June frame, thereby maximizing their impact.

DQ has spread its promotions throughout the year, placing it in head-to-head competition with much bigger quick-service restaurants and not highlighting DQ's dominant sales season, summer.