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Super Bowl Ad Preview: Subway Tops Fast Food Brands for NFL Ad Spend Leading Up to the Big Game

B&C has partnered with TV advertising attention analytics company and its Super Bowl Ad Center to give you in-depth context and analysis during the run-up to game day. On Wednesday we took a look at the insurance brands that spent the most on TV advertising during NFL games leading up to Super Bowl LI. Today, we’re focusing on fast food, which as a category had a year-over-year TV ad spending decline of nearly 5% during NFL games/programming.

All told, 19 fast food brands aired TV commercials during the 2016-17 NFL season, totaling just over $264 million in estimated spend. Subway (27%) and McDonald’s (23%) together accounted for half of that outlay, far outpacing the rest of the top five: Burger King, Taco Bell and KFC (with the latter two both being owned by the same parent company, Yum! Brands).

Fast food ads during NFL programming were, perhaps not surprisingly, viewed more by males (59.74%) than females (40.26%), and overall racked up 5.6 billion TV ad impressions over the course of the season.

The $264 million estimated NFL TV spend by all the fast food brands combined was down $13 million vs. the previous season -- a shift driven largely by McDonald’s and its estimated $27 million cutback. Meanwhile, a $3 million spend increase by Subway helped it secure the No. 1 position as the fast food industry’s biggest NFL TV advertiser.

Follow along with all the Super Bowl ad excitement in’s Super Bowl Ad Center. And check back Friday for another Super Bowl Ad Preview post, with more insight on the NFL’s biggest brand backers leading up to the big game.