P&G Unseats Uncle Sam As Radio’s Top Advertiser Of 2021.


Procter & Gamble was radio’s top advertiser of 2021 based on spot count, airing more than 9 million commercials for a variety of household products from Dawn to ZzzQuil. In fact, the consumer-packaged goods giant ran 55% more radio ads in 2021 than in 2020, allowing it to surpass the U.S. Government as the top parent company advertiser at radio last year.


The new numbers from Media Monitors, which tracks advertising in 110 markets, show the two massive entities flip-flopped positions in 2021. After airing 5.9 million ads in 2020 to finish first, the U.S. Government aired 5.4 million in 2021. Meanwhile P&G placed substantially more spots last year – 9,097,535 to be precise – for a 55% increase over 5,857,218 in 2020. Last year marked the second consecutive year of P&G bumping up its radio outlay in a big way, following a 44% year-over-year increase in 2020.


The top-spending government entity of last year, by far, was the Centers For Disease Control & Prevention which placed 1.4 million ads encouraging listeners to get vaccinated and take other actions to slow the spread of COVD-19. Other government entities that opened their wallets to radio were the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with 1.0 million spot airings, Army National Guard (481,000), and the Department of Health & Human Services (411,000).


Indeed Usurps Progressive At Top


There was also an upset among individual brands in 2021. Ubiquitous job search platform Indeed ousted Progressive from the top spot to emerge as the top radio account of 2021 with 2.5 million spots. That was more than double the 1.2 million it aired in 2020 as Indeed rocketed up the tally 9-2 year-over-year, offering more evidence of the explosive growth of recruitment advertising in 2021. Competitor ZipRecruiter also made a huge jump in 2021, rising to the tenth largest brand advertiser on radio with 1.3 million spots. That’s a long way from No. 26 in 2020.


The top 10 brand advertisers of 2021 are chock-full of familiar names, like language learning app Babble at No. 3 with 1.8 million ads, up from No. 5 the year before. Insurance company GEICO placed 1.5 million spots to rank fourth, down two notches from second place in 2020. The Home Depot was fifth with 1.4 million ads, slipping from third place the year before. CDC was next at No. 6, followed by McDonald’s which ran 1.3 million ads to advance from No. 13 to No. 7. That once again made the Golden Arches radio’s top Quick Serve Restaurant advertiser. State Farm, one of three insurers in the top 10, was eighth with 1.3 million ads, making a long jump from No. 15 in 2020. Other major 2021 movers were Bank of America (22-9) and Zip Recruiter (26-10). Both ran roughly 1.3 million ads.


The top ad categories at radio in 2021, based on spot count, were retail, insurance, wireless/internet, government, and quick serve restaurants.

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