McDonald's: ad spend in the U.S. 2009-2018

McDonald's invested 1.54 billion U.S. dollars in advertising in the United States in 2018. Since 2014, the omni-present fast food restaurant chain has been consistently increasing their promotional spending in the country. In 2017, McDonald’s spent roughly 70 million Canadian dollars on advertising in neighboring Canada. The company's global revenue that year reached roughly 28 billion U.S. dollars, a quarter of which was generated in the United States. In 2018, McDonald's revenue decreased to approximately 21 billion dollars.

McDonald’s on the U.S. ad market

McDonald’s Corporation is the leading advertiser among other popular fast food and quick serve restaurants in the United States. The company’s ad spend on its chains far surpassed the investments in Taco Bell, Domino’s, Subway and Burger King. In fact, the latter was estimated to have spent half of the amount that McDonald’s devoted to advertising. However, the two competitors recently had a stand-off on Twitter, firing jokes at one another in a so-called ‘roast’, which was instigated by Burger King and was hugely popular among social media users. The same could be seen on billboards, posters and in print ads, where McDonald’s was mercilessly trolled by Burger King and vice versa. This rivalry produced high publicity for both brands and managed to shape some lasting impressions about them.

McDonald's Corporation advertising spending in the United States from 2009 to 2018

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Release date

June 2019


United States

Survey time period

2009 to 2018

Supplementary notes

The figures includes measured-media advertising spending (source: Kantar Media) and unmeasured spending (estimated by Advertising Age). Measured media from WPP's Kantar Media based on spending in 19 media: consumer magazines, Sunday magazines, local magazines, business-to-business magazines, local newspapers, national newspapers, free-standing inserts, broadcast network TV, broadcast spot TV, national syndicated TV, network cable TV, network radio, national spot radio, local radio, Spanish-language media (magazines, newspapers, TV networks), outdoor and internet (display advertising; excludes paid search, video and other forms of internet advertising). Unmeasured spending figures are Ad Age DataCenter estimates including direct marketing, promotion, internet paid search, social media and other forms of spending not included in the 19 measured media. For more information, see the methodology.

Figures have been rounded.

Figures for the period 2009 to 2013 come from Advertising Age's earlier publications.

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Statistics on "Quick service restaurant brands: McDonald's"

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