Media Monitors

Just past the halfway mark of 2019, the top advertising categories across radio, broadcast television and cable are all behind the wheel—related to driving: automotive dealers, insurance providers and fast casual-quick service restaurants.

For one, local auto dealers amped the number of radio spots they aired in the first seven months of the year, finishing far ahead of any other category during the same period, according to Media Monitors’ latest rankings of the top advertisers of 2019. The analysis covers the period from Jan. 1 through July 31, 2019.

For these airwaves advertisers, it appears that strategy could be paying off. Media Monitors notes that June’s overall retail sales rise of 0.4% was driven by a 0.7% increase in auto sales, according to the Commerce Department. Car sales had a similar gain in May.

Local car and truck dealers led the way in the number of instances, focusing their advertising on both radio, where they broadcast the highest number of spots (7,659,729), and on TV, where they ranked 10th for instances (2,537,737).

Meanwhile, as consumers hit the road with their new vehicles, they are, of course, hunting for the best deals in auto insurance. “With insurance premiums rising every year – they’re now 23% higher than they were in 2011, according to The Zebra’s 2019 State of Auto Insurance report – new auto buyers are likely to shop around,” Media Monitors reports. “To get their brand in front of interested consumers, insurance providers are right behind auto dealers in the number of spots they’ve aired this year.”

The insurance provider category ranked in the top three for radio, broadcast television and cable TV. Collectively, the advertisers aired most of their spots on cable (8,369,687), where the category ranked second. As a whole, they were number two in radio (5,280,802) and number three in TV (4,428,241).

And the fast casual-quick service restaurant category ranked fourth at radio, behind auto, insurance providers, and mortgages and financial services. Home improvement advertisers, who market heavily in the spring, have also held onto a top 10 spot in the rankings. In radio, the home centers & hardware store category has the fewest number of advertisers within the top 10 and yet ranks eighth for the number of instances. The reason is obvious enough: Home Depot tops the list of top radio advertisers, accounting for more than half of the spots aired in the category; while competitor Lowe’s ranked third.

Also in the top 10 categories: business and consumer services, government/unions, live theater and legal services.

At radio, the top 10 accounts for the first seven months of 2019 are: The Home Depot, GEICO, Lowe’s, Indeed, McDonald’s, Progressive, Seriously, Sprint, Macy’s and JC Penney.