Spring Signals Fast Food Time For National Radio Advertisers.


If the sounds of that friendly ice cream truck have returned to your neighborhood, consider it a sign that the market for frozen confections is officially back after a pandemic-caused freezeout. But while DQ Dairy Queen got whacked in the early days of the pandemic, its sales eventually outpaced 2019 levels by 17%. Now the chain, which offers more than cones, cups and blizzards, is airing its biggest radio ad blitz since last summer.


The quick service restaurant recently introduced a new line of so-called Stackburgers and that appears to be behind its return to radio’s top ten after not appearing anywhere on the tally since February. For the week of March 28-April 3, the chain aired more than 31,000 spots on broadcast radio according to Media Monitors, making it the medium’s top account in the Fast Casual-Quick Service Restaurants category. DQ Dairy Queen beat Wendy’s (No. 28 with 18,087 spots), Taco Bell (No. 30, 17,264), McDonald’s (No. 36, 15,749), Chick-fil-A (No. 38, 14,474) and Dunkin (No. 78, 8,696).


Dairy Queen isn’t just using radio to boost sales as warm weather returns and more Americans are out and about. It aired more than 51,000 spots on cable TV, ascending to No. 3 from No. 42 last week. While radio has a truck full of QSRs on its airwaves, there are two in Cable TV’s top 10 that are nowhere to be found on AM/FM: Subway and Domino’s are both top 10 cable advertisers that are missing the boat on radio.

As April gets underway, Americans have more on their minds than just cruising for burgers, tacos and pizza. The deadline for filing federal tax returns is just 10 day away and tax prep services are hustling to get last minute filers onto their websites. Optima Tax Relief aired more than 20,000 ads on broadcast radio last week to rank No. 22 and Jackson Hewitt placed 11,739 to finish at No. 55. But tax services are leaning harder into TV than radio. TurboTax – No. 8 on National TV, down from No. 3 the previous week –is MIA on radio.


With a new springtime campaign, Kohl’s placed 16,717 radio spots last week to rank No. 33. Macy’s was the only department store with more occurrences (23,423 airings, No. 15). Walmart’s new ad campaign is No. 1 on the TV list but nowhere to be found on radio.


The winner of this week’s “leap o’ the week” at radio is AutoZone as the auto parts retailer gets in the zone to the tune of 33,336 spots, flying 24-6.


Still missing in action from the springtime mulch and garden center opportunity is Home Depot, although rival Lowe’s spends a second week in the top 10 with more than 31,000 airings to rank No. 7, up from No. 9 last week.


For the week of March 28-April 3, 2022, the top 10 on the Media Monitors hit parade are Indeed at 1, iHeartRadio at 2, Progressive at 3, GetUpside at 4, ZipRecruiter at 5, AutoZone at 6, Lowe’s at 7, Grainger at 8, DQ Dairy Queen at 9, and Babbel at 10.

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