Pathmatics Blog

Exclusive Data on the Top 7 Food and Drink Advertisers, from McDonald’s to Anheuser-Busch

March 29 2017
burgers-1976198_1920.jpg

The food and drink industry spent more than $97 million on digital advertising in February alone. In fact, the vertical is the seventh top advertising industry, according to Pathmatics ad impression data.

Given the impulsive and frequent nature of food and drink purchases, it’s crucial for these brands to stay top-of-mind. With the top seven advertisers taking more than 22 percent of the industry’s impressions, they’re capturing almost a quarter of the industry’s entire impressions. So how do other brands compete for brand awareness in this industry? 

By analyzing the successful advertising strategies of these top competitors and making them their own. Below, we’ll highlight some of the advertising strategies of the top industry spenders to help you get started. 


Unpacking the Details Behind February’s Top Advertisements

While the industry’s top seven advertisers, listed in a data roundup below, all favor a similar direct spend strategy, some appear to be more forward thinking with their advertising creatives. 

About 41 percent of U.S. consumers are willing to sacrifice taste for a healthier option, and 76 percent believe that homemade food is healthier than industrially prepared food, according to Nielsen. Yet, companies like McDonalds, Mars and PepsiCo are still fighting to keep their consumers coming back to their processed, calorie-packed products. 

McDonald’s ran the most expensive advertisement in February at about $2.6 million, touting the fast food company’s Big Mac size (below).

FoodandDrinkPicture1.png

 Similarly, Mars ran an ad for Snickers to the tune of around $1.3 million.

FoodandDrinkPicture2.png

On the other hand, Panera, the industry’s sixth highest spender, ran a top advertisement for more than $2.6 million addressing this trend toward natural, healthful foods, which claims, “At Panera, 100 percent of our food is 100 percent clean.”

You can watch the full 30-second ad by clicking the link below.

FoodandDrinkPicture3.png

Watch the full video 

As industries change, old favorites like McDonald’s and PepsiCo need to stay on top of where the competition is headed. That’s where advertising intelligence comes in. Being able to track your competitors’ individual advertisements, top publishing channels and spending habits is important even for goliaths like those above. Keeping tabs on competitors’ advertising trends can give you deeper insights into company goals, audiences and more. 

New Call-to-action

Read on for a detailed roundup of advertising spend and impressions for the top seven advertisers.

1. McDonald's

McDonald's spent about $7.5 million total on digital ads, nearly 8 percent of total ad spend from companies in this period. Spending was spread across four channels (desktop, mobile, desktop video, mobile video). The company garnered 462 million impressions for its budget, about 5 percent of all impressions generated by advertisers. 

McDonald's used $7.1 million of its ad spend on direct buys, indicating a preference for direct over programmatic. The company tallied 387 million impressions across the four channels from direct, or about 84 percent of total impressions generated by the company in this period.

Total Spend Total Impressions Direct Spend Direct Impressions
$7,486,200 461,976,100 $7,137,900 386,541,800
 
 

2. Mondelēz International

Mondelēz International spent $5.9 million in total on digital advertising, about 6 percent of total ad spend from companies in this period. Spending occurred across desktop, mobile, and video channels. The company tallied 681 million impressions for that money, approximately 8 percent of all impressions generated by advertisers. 

Mondelēz International used the majority of its budget - $5.1 million - on direct placements. The company garnered 311 million impressions across all channels from direct, or about 46 percent of total impressions collected by the company in this period.

Total Spend Total Impressions Direct Spend Direct Impressions
$5,921,700 680,536,900 $5,072,700 310,773,300
 
 

3. Mars, Incorporated

Mars, Incorporated spent nearly $4.7 million in total on digital advertising, about 5 percent of all money spent by food and drink brands in this period. Spending was spread across desktop, mobile, desktop video, and mobile video. The company garnered 254 million impressions for its budget, approximately 3 percent of all impressions generated by advertisers.

Mars, Incorporated invested nearly all of its $4.6 million total budget on direct buys. The company gained 245 million impressions across the four channels from direct, or about 96 percent of total impressions generated by the company in this timeframe.

Total Spend Total Impressions Direct Spend Direct Impressions
$4,673,600 254,246,200 $4,633,900 244,719,800
 
 

4. PepsiCo, Inc.

PepsiCo, Inc. spent $4 million total on digital advertising, roughly 4 percent of all money spent by food and drink advertisers during this period. Spending occurred across four channels (desktop, mobile, desktop video, mobile video). The company tallied 381 million impressions for its ad spend, just about 4 percent of total impressions generated by advertisers. 

PepsiCo, Inc. used about $3.6 million of its ad spend on direct, indicating a preference for direct buys over indirect. The company garnered 238 million impressions across all channels from direct, or about 63 percent of total impressions acquired by the company in this timeframe.

Total Spend Total Impressions Direct Spend Direct Impressions
$4,027,600 381,007,900 $3,587,400 238,338,600
 
 

5. Dr Pepper Snapple Group

Dr Pepper Snapple Group spent $3.7 million all told on digital advertising, just about 4 percent of total ad spend from companies in this timeframe. Spending took place across desktop, mobile, and desktop video. The company generated 208 million impressions for its money, about 2 percent of total impressions generated by advertisers.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group spent almost $3.6 million of its total budget on direct placements. The company garnered 139 million impressions across all channels from direct, or about 67 percent of all impressions generated by the company in this period.

Total Spend Total Impressions Direct Spend Direct Impressions
$3,743,500 207,866,800 $3,567,200 139,260,200

 

6. Panera Bread Company

Panera Bread Company spent more than $3 million in total on digital ads, about 3 percent of all money spent by the industry’s advertisers during this period. Spending occurred across desktop and desktop video. The company tallied more than 166 million impressions for its budget, approximately 2 percent of total impressions generated by food and drink advertisers.

Panera Bread Company used its full $3 million budget on direct spend and all its impressions came from direct.

Total Spend Total Impressions Direct Spend Direct Impressions
$3,007,400 166,271,400 $3,007,400 166,271,400

 

7. Anheuser-Busch

Anheuser-Busch spent $2.9 million total on digital ads, about 3 percent of all money spent by food and drink brands during this period. Spending was allocated across desktop, mobile, and desktop video channels. The company generated 296 million impressions for its ad spend, roughly 3 percent of total impressions generated by advertisers.

Following the category trend, Anheuser-Busch used $2.5 million of its budget on direct. The company garnered 234 million impressions across channels from direct, or about 79 percent of total impressions garnered by the company in this timeframe.

Total Spend Total Impressions Direct Spend Direct Impressions
$2,867,000 295,935,700 $2,537,500 233,686,300

 

**All trademarks & copyrights property of their respective owners. Image Credit: Pixabay.
Source: Pathmatics US Desktop, Mobile, and Video Data, February 1st, 2017 - February 28th, 2017.


Want to Access Deeper Insights?

If you want deeper insights like these, request a demo to unpack more digital advertising insights. Pathmatics advertising intelligence gives you the data you need to spy on your competition and advertise more strategically to beat them out.

Request a Demo


 

About Author

Jordan Kramer

An out-of-the-box thinker with a love for disruptive ideas, Jordan's background spans PR and events for the wedding & hospitality industry in Los Angeles and Scottsdale and also launching one of America's most unique food trucks. She jumped from the food start-up scene to the tech start-up scene in 2013 to join one of the most unique companies in ad tech. Jordan is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

Related Posts
Get the H1 2019 Global Facebook Round-up for CA, UK, and DE
Get the H1 2019 Global Facebook Round-up for CA, UK, and DE
To beef, or not to beef? Digital ad strategies of the top burger brands
To beef, or not to beef? Digital ad strategies of the top burger brands
3 Digital Marketing Survival Tactics for the Era of Ad Blocking
3 Digital Marketing Survival Tactics for the Era of Ad Blocking
Would you like to be a contributor ?

Contact Us