A fast-food advertising frenzy

Who’s on Top? – March 5-11, 2018

Advertising spend on new broadcast placements increased by 26 percent the week of March 5th, reaching a total of $167 million. With NCAA March Madness around the corner, many advertisers bet on college basketball as the arena for debuting their new ads. Indeed, college games accounted for close to $10 million of new ad expenditures – more than any other single program during the week.

Creative Spotlight

Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) dominated the top five this week, with Burger King, Sonic and McDonald’s all vying to get consumers in the door or drive-through.

Burger King spent its entire TV budget for the week on new advertising and took the top spot for the QSR category. The chain invested $4.8 million to promote its new Spicy Crispy Chicken sandwich as part of its “2 for 6 Mix or Match” deal.


The runner up spot went to Sonic, who also used 100% of its TV budget on new commercials. Sonic used celebrity spokeswomen Ellie Kemper and Jane Krakowski to sell burgers and shakes in comedic, improvised ads. The humorous duo is set to star in six spots for the company over the coming months.


McDonald’s may have spent the least of the three QSRs on new ads with $3.7 million, but unlike its competitors it only used 40 percent of its TV budget on new commercials. Looking at overall spend, McDonald’s beat both Burger King and Sonic with a total of $9.3 million of expenditures. This week, the restaurant used its new ads to promote a mix of products including breakfast, chicken tenders and happy meals.


This data is part of ongoing reporting we release on a weekly basis. Make sure to check back every week for the most recent data, or contact us to learn how you can discover your competitors’ breaking ads on your own in real–time using our AdScope tool. Already an AdScope customer? Log in now and see what your competitors are up to.

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