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Top Radio Advertiser of 2017... GEICO Or Home Depot?

“More saving, more doing… That's the power of the Home Depot.” This mantra was heard 2,584,993 times over the airwaves last year, making the home center the No. 1 national radio advertiser for all of 2017. That is one step up from its No. 2 ranking in 2016, taking the place of insurance company GEICO, which retreats one slot to the runner-up position for the year. Its total: 2,208,419 spots. That’s marks a pretty substantial 376,574 spot count difference between the top two.

Overall, there was little year-over-year drama amid the top 10 radio advertisers in 2017 vs. 2016, according to data provided by Media Monitors, which tracks the top marketers based on spot volume in 85 markets. Department stores JC Penney and Macy’s both maintained their top 10 rank in 2017: the former propelled from No. 7 last year to No. 3, behind Home Depot and GEICO; while Macy’s held steady from its 2016 rank, at No. 9.

Looking specifically at Penney’s strategy, Media Monitors president and CEO Philippe Generali notes, "Six months into her new job, the strategy of JCPenney's new CMO Marci Grebstein seems to be paying off. The retailer has kept its brand top of mind of American shoppers by using radio and its massive reach. The uplifting news of comparable YOY sales growth that JC Penney achieved during the 2017 holiday season validates a good game plan.

Meanwhile, the most dramatic move into the top 10 is Mattress Firm, at No. 8, which was No. 29 in the previous year. Also moving into the top 10: Staples, from 14 in 2016; and the US Dept. of Transportation, from 13.
 

The top 10 national radio advertisers for 2017 are: No. 1 The Home Depot, No. 2 GEICO, No. 3 JC Penney, No. 4 McDonald’s, No. 5 Lowe’s, No. 6 AutoZone, No. 7 Staples, No. 8 Mattress Firm, No. 9 Macy’s and No. 10 US Dept. of Transportation.

Top Radio Advertising Categories

Breaking down the top 100 by category, the most dominant is—not automotive, but instead— wireless carriers, with eight advertisers: MetroPCS (21), Sprint (26), T-Mobile (29), Boost Mobile (30), AT&T Wireless (37), Straight Talk (54), Cricket (67) and Simple Mobile (77). Next in line, there are as many in the quick service restaurants category, albeit some not as highly ranked within the 100: McDonald’s (4), Wendy’s (23), Taco Bell (36), Subway (40), Burger King (64), Dunkin’ Donuts (76), KFC (91) and Jimmy John’s (99).

And then we get to Automotive, the third-largest category among 2017’s top 100, with seven brands. Leading cars & trucks/dealer associations is Ford Lincoln Mercury (33), followed by Ford (35), Honda (38), Toyota (46), Nissan (51), RAM (68) and Toyota Motor Sales (97). Next in line: banks and credit unions/mortgage/financial services, which command six of the top 100 national radio advertisers in 2017: Discover (16), Quicken Loans (31), Wells Fargo (55), CashCall Mortgage (61), Navy Federal (90) and RP Funding (94).

Also prevalent are insurance providers, with five among the top 100: No. 2 GEICO, No. 18 State Farm, No. 25 Progressive, No. 28 Liberty Mutual, and No. 59 USAA Insurance. Five more among the top 100 are classified as business & consumer services/business opportunity: TrueCar (27), FortuneBuilders (41), LifeLock (45), 1-800-411-PAIN (56) and 1-800-GOT-JUNK (73).

New Radio Believers

Within Inside Radio’s analysis, 25% of the top 100 national advertisers are new in 2017. Leading the charge among those that did not appear on last year’s list is Indeed, a true believe in the airwaves at No. 11 this past year. In addition, Amazon.com came on board during fourth quarter, with enough ads to ultimately rank as the No. 63 advertiser for the year.

Also joining the countdown—alphabetically, are—(69) AT&T Wireless/DirecTV, (85) Boll & Branch, (95) Cordell & Cordell, (92) Dell, (75) eBay, (52) Groupon, (83) iWin, (91) KFC, (84) LasikPlus, (28) Liberty Mutual, (90) Navy Federal, (78) Pepsi, (94) RP Funding, (77) Simple Mobile, (80) Spectrum Int-Phone-TV, (54) Straight Talk, (70) Target, (97) Toyota (national), (50) ULTA Beauty, (53) Walmart, (96) WAVE Home Solutions and (100) Zerorez.

Of course, for those that joined the party, radio also lost as many national advertisers in the top 100. Those that appeared in 2016 that were not among the 2017 countdown: American Heart Association, American Express, American Family Insurance, Beachbody, Bud Light, Chevrolet, Credit Repair.com, Customink, Grainger, H&R Block, ListenClear, Nabisco, New Healthy Man, NuBiotix, Power Swabs, Proactive, Rite Aid, Rosetta Stone, Sam’s Club, SelectQuote, Verizon Wireless and the US Forest Service.

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