QSR Magazine: Wendy's Evolves its Marketing Message

Where do the opportunities lie? Wendy's marketing is focused on mix and platforms.

By Danny Klein, QSR Magazine

As much as we talk about diversified media mix and the rise of digital, the old ways are far from dead. TV remains one of the key advertising channels for restaurants, and it’s one of the most tangible ways large brands aid local units. BIA Advisory Services recently estimated that local advertising spent on quick-service restaurants would represent $3.9 billion in 2019 and grow by $47 million annually through 2023.

Like all things in this margin-tight industry, it’s often not effective enough to just generalize. Not all TV ads are equally viewable. And not every brand should advertise during the same time slots, in front of the same audiences, with similar creatives.

TVision shared a report with QSR that looked at the TV attention (defined as the opportunity to view, or when someone was in the room to view the ad) and audience size for hundreds of programs where restaurant brands advertise, uncovering key hits, misses, and opportunities.

TVision found that, for restaurant brands, evening dramas, like Manifest, The Passage, Chicago PD, and Grey’s Anatomy offer room for increased investment. Additionally, syndicated comedies, such as Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Family Guy, and The Office drove large audiences and high attention for restaurant advertisers.

Many top food programs were noticeably absent. And the few food competition shows where restaurant advertisers invest, like Chopped and Guy’s Grocery Games, performed poorly. Also, while news is largely watched around breakfast and dinner times, restaurant advertising bought during morning and evening news programs showed low attention.

Here’s a ranking from TVision on TV attention. The metric is calculated as the percentage of TV ad impressions where a viewer is in the room for 2 or more seconds.

  • 1. Chili's
  • 2. Red Lobster
  • 3. Little Caesars Pizza
  • 4. Jimmy John's
  • 5. Ruby Tuesday
  • 6. Olive Garden
  • 7. Outback Steakhouse
  • 8. Arby's
  • 9. Dairy Queen
  • 10. Starbucks
  • 11. Golden Corral
  • 12. Applebee's
  • 13. Chipotle Mexican Grill
  • 14. Dunkin'
  • 15. KFC
  • 16. McDonald's
  • 17. Red Robin
  • 18. Domino's
  • 19. IHOP
  • 20. Denny's


Read the full article and case study on Wendy's at QSR Magazine.

TV and CTV Attention Report
The TV and CTV Attention Report