Some Fast food advertisers are shifting their spending to national cable from local television, finding that ratings increases for cable are bringing audiences near parity while cable still offers cheaper prices, reports Advertising Age.
Dairy Queen, for one, this year flipped its budget so that 60% of spending goes to national cable, while 40% is allocated to regional television, the story says. The strategy shift seems to be industry wide, the article notes: "This is a definite trend in the industry," said Dairy Queen CMO Michael Keller.
According to Kantar Media, measured network cable TV spending by fast-food marketers has "increased nearly 50% over the past four years to $738 million in 2009 from $506 million in 2006. Spot TV buys declined 16% over the same period to $739 million, from $882 million. Network TV spending also fell 13%, to $831 million," the article points out.
What’s driving that shift is a change in how viewers watch television, according to the article. "They were watching more and more cable as cable was getting a bigger presence in the media space. When we did the break-even analysis, it was more efficient for us to buy cable nationally than on a market-by-market basis," says Dominic Losacco, vice president of marketing channels at Sonic, the fast-food chain, told Ad Age.