McDonald’s served over 295 million online display ads in March – the most among quick-serve restaurants (QSRs) – reaching 52 million internet users an average of 5.7 times during the month, according to comScore Ad Metrix.
McDonald’s accounted for a 34% “share of voice” in March, Quizno’s ranked second with 11.1% share of voice, followed by KFC (9.6%) and Papa John’s (9.3%):
Share of Site Visits vs. Share of Voice
To provide dimension to the share-of-voice ranking, the study also looked at the share of visits to the websites of each of the top 10 restaurant companies to see whether there is any relationship with the share of voice.
It found little relation between the two metrics, since site traffic seems to be more heavily influenced by televised promotions and online ordering functionality at a few of the companies.
For example, PizzaHut.com, which promotes (via online advertisements) online ordering for home delivery or in-store pick up, has a disproportionately high share of site traffic (23.3%) relative to its share of online advertising voice (6.8%).
Online a Substantial Opportunity for QSR Advertisers
Despite McDonald’s position as one of the top US advertisers (No. 16 in 2006, according to Ad Age) in terms of overall dollars spent on advertising, the company ranked just No. 113 in terms of the total number of online display ads delivered in March 2008, according to comScore Ad Metrix.
“It’s clear that that the quick-serve restaurant industry has been slower than many other industries to move its advertising dollars online,” said comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni. “But, given the internet’s broad reach and ability to selectively reach consumer segments, its potential as a brand-building advertising medium is beginning to attract more attention.”
“The reality is that while most working Americans do not watch TV during the day and therefore cannot be reached via this medium, many do use computers during this daypart. For the working population, online advertising is a highly effective way to put one’s QSR brand top of mind with the consumer in the hours and minutes before they decide where to eat lunch.”