Dilly dilly!

Chances are you’ve already heard this phrase — at work, at school, at your latest Game of Thrones cosplay gathering — and odds are even higher that you’ll end up hearing it more in the coming weeks and months, especially if you find yourself at a bar, a college campus or even passingly conscious at any point throughout your day.

Based on who you ask which link you click on, the word “dilly” dates back about a hundred years or so, and can be used as a stand-in for “outstanding” or “remarkable” or “delightful.”

But what exactly does “Dilly dilly!” mean to its creators, AJ Placentra and Alex Ledford?

Well, it turns out it doesn’t really mean anything. But it does speak to Bud Light’s power as a brand that the admen could take a meaningless word, double it up, add a touch of panache and almost instantaneously inject the phrase into the public vernacular.

Bud Light’s medieval-themed ads feature this catchphrase as their own take on a cry of approval like ‘huzzah.’ And, as usual, the TV spot has affected the world of digital search.

As you can see from the below chart, search interest around the term ‘dilly dilly’ has skyrocketed, peaking the week of the Super Bowl, when Bud Light ran a brand-new, 60-second ad during the game that featured the phrase.


Tracking the monthly search volume of the term, searches for ‘dilly dilly’ went from 2,400 average monthly searches for most of 2017 to up over 1 million searches in November, with December setting the new record at 1.22 million.

That’s a whole lot of dilly dilly.

The real question will be how many people, after having seen the Bud Light Super Bowl ad, will search for ‘dilly dilly’ in February? And how many will search in March? When, if ever, will ‘dilly dilly’ die?

With our fast and fickle social media news cycle, ‘dilly dilly’ could already be dead, or it could just be getting started. At this juncture, there simply is just no way of knowing.

And for us in the world of search, well that’s just delightful dilly dilly.