Subway, Arby’s top QSR TV ad impressions in Q3

    • The QSR category accounted for the largest fraction of television ad impressions of any industry in Q3 2022, according to a report from
    • QSR brand ads accounted for 4.61% of TV impressions during the quarter, with Subway and Arby’s leading the segment. Subway accounted for almost 18% of QSR ad impressions and Arby’s share came near 11%.
    • While QSR ad spend fell from close to $500 million in Q4 2021 to about $200 million in Q3 2022, impressions have not fallen to the same degree, declining from a peak of around 35 billion impressions in Q4 2021 to around 27 billion in Q3 2022, according to data emailed to Restaurant Dive.

    Arby’s has pursued a number of campaigns to raise visibility over the last year, including a diss track targeting McDonald’s and a digital media spot ad with Old Spice. Arby’s climbed from the #49 brand spot in terms of overall TV ad impressions to the #12 brand across industries, according to The brand added a new CMO, Rita Patel, earlier this month.

    Subway, meanwhile, has pursued an overhaul of its branding and marketing since last year. The brand has faced a long period of slumping sales and store closures beginning in 2014. Recently, Subway has tried to turn its fortunes around with new campaigns and menu items. Subway launched what it called the biggest menu change in its history in July, introducing a set of 12 sandwiches that could be ordered without customization. The chain claims its efforts have led to sustained increases in same-store sales over the last 18 months.

    TV advertising increasingly has to compete with digital ad priorities and Web3 efforts, especially as brands are forced to adapt formats and messaging to different platforms. Pepsi CMO Todd Kaplan described the access that niche channels give to specific audiences and the difficulty of adjusting to them as “a double-edged sword,” earlier this month.

    The need to spread ad dollars among platforms is evident for legacy QSR brands, like Carl’s Jr. and Hardy’s, whose recent rebrand has included advertising across radio, TV, TikTok, Yahoo, Kargo and Snapchat, according to Marketing Dive. Burger King, in the midst of a multi-year brand overhaul, has begun focusing on traditional, nostalgia-heavy TV ads after a series of stunts focused on digital consumers, like a cryptocurrency giveaway.

    According to, QSR ad impressions have been buoyed by the return to post-pandemic normalcy in live sports, which accounted for over 40% of all QSR ad impressions between Q1 2021 and Q2 2022. Ad impressions for QSR brands improved somewhat quarter over quarter, despite their fall from last year’s peak, and QSR now outpaces automakers and insurance companies as the leading driver of TV ad impressions, according to


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