These Were 2018’s Top Brands for Ad Awareness

March 15, 2019

This article is included in these additional categories:

Advertising Trends | Brand-Related | Spending & Spenders | Top Brands

Technology brands have featured highly in word-of-mouth rankings, but they are losing out top spots to more established firms when it comes to ad awareness, according to the latest data from YouGov BrandIndex.

Coming top of the list with its memorable amphibian is insurance firm GEICO, with almost half of US adults (48.4%) being able to recall an ad from the group during the two weeks prior to being surveyed. GEICO was followed by McDonalds (47.0%) and Walmart (45.0%). Netflix is the only technology brand that features in the top 10, with 39.4% of adults surveyed being able to recall an ad for the streaming service.

Tech players are, however, making swift improvements in ad visibility. Amazon Alexa is the most improved brand, rising to an average of 34.3% of consumers (up from 25.9% in 2017) having seen an ad during the prior two-week period. It’s worth noting that this ad awareness figure is close to the 36% of Americans that now own a Smart Speaker.

Amazon also takes second place in the improver rankings with its connected doorbell brand Ring – some 16.5% of consumers reported seeing an ad for the brand, representing a rise of 7.7% points. Other improvers include Peloton (10.4%, up from 4.6% in 2017) and 23andMe (18.7%, up from 13.2%). But while these two players catering to health-aware consumers have been climbing up the improver rankings (joined by Planet Fitness, up to 16.5% from 11.8%), so have brands offering temptations in the other direction, including IHOP (32.0%, up from 25.5%), Grubhub (9.7%, up from 4.3%) and Chick-fil-A (23.6%, up from 18.3%).

Exclusion from the list isn’t necessarily indicative of a negative position for a brand. Indeed, many may be in the lucky position in that they do not need to advertise widely – according to BrandZ, Tesla is among the world’s 100 most valuable brands, yet famously does not spend money on above-the-line advertising.

Furthermore, many of the brands making the top 10 for ad awareness fail to make appearances on other rankings for customer advocacy, word-of-mouth or emotional connection. As such, advertising alone does not appear to be a guarantee of winning a spot in anything else but awareness.

It’s also worth noting that YouGov’s Plan & Track visibility rankings – which track more than 1,800 brands – represents an average over the whole of 2018. As such, recent uplifts for key periods such as the Holiday season might be missed among the average.

The rest of the top brands by ad awareness can be viewed here.

About the Data: YouGov’s Plan & Track rankings are based on consumer surveys carried out January to December 2018. Consumers were asked “Which of the follow brands have you seen an advertisement for in the past two weeks?” with the percentages being averages for the year.

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