June 7, 20232 min read

Reality Bites: How Fast-Food Brands Are Winning with Reality TV Viewers

When fast-food brands are hungry to drive sales, there’s no better place to advertise than the TV equivalent of comfort food: Reality TV. In our recent analysis of Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) TV advertising, we found that fast-food ads are most effective at driving consumer engagement when they run during Reality TV shows like ABC’s American Idol and Bravo’s Vanderpump Rules.

In our latest Quick Service Restaurant TV Ad Performance Report, EDO analyzed every QSR ad that ran on television from January through April of 2023. Using proprietary data-science methods, we determined how effective each ad was at inspiring consumers to engage online with the brand. From this analysis, we found that QSR ads performed best when they ran during Reality TV shows like ABC’s The Parent Test, where QSR ads were a whopping 228% more effective than the average primetime QSR ad. 

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg lettuce. Read on to unwrap more insights into how QSR brands are successfully inspiring TV viewers to take action—in and out of Reality TV – or download our full report here.

Long John Silver’s Reels In Viewers, Wendy’s Scores Big During March Madness


While Long John Silver’s might not be the first name that comes to mind when many of us  think of fast food, this fast-seafood chain had the single most effective QSR creative in this window. Its 15-second spot advertising online ordering and its variety platters was 397% more likely to drive engagement than the average QSR ad.

Meanwhile, Wendy’s took advantage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament to serve hungry basketball fans their fast-food fix. The brand’s ads that ran during March Madness were 176% more likely to drive engagement than the average Wendy’s ad that aired on broadcast or cable primetime. You could say their fries were a slam dunk…into a delicious Frosty.

Want More Fast Facts on Fast Food? Read Our Full Report.

Our real-time engagement data enables us to provide unique, actionable insights into what actually works when it comes to TV advertising. When you read our Quick Service Restaurant TV Ad Performance Report, you’ll get a taste of what EDO brings to the table.

Here’s some of what you can expect to learn:

  • Which networks and programs generated the most engagement for QSR brands
  • The key messaging ingredient that drove high engagement in this category
  • The top-performing QSR advertisers from January through April 2023

Download our full report to uncover these and other insights, or reach out to us via our website to learn more about how we can help your brand make smarter, more effective TV advertising decisions.


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