Starbucks is the top quick-service restaurant brand, with $111 million of Impact Media Value, according to General Sentiment’s QSR MediaMatch report.

McDonald’s ($74M), Taco Bell ($37M), Burger King ($34M), and Chipotle ($33M) round out the top five of the more than 100 quick-service brands General Sentiment analyzed.

Additionally, in this report, General Sentiment used its MediaMatch platform to isolate audiences and identify the most suitable TV shows for the top three quick-service brands.

“Social media offers brands the opportunity to connect more closely with their audiences,” says Greg Artzt, cofounder and chief strategy officer of General Sentiment. “It's interesting to see how an audience impacts a brand based on discussion, but it's even more compelling to see which audiences and brands match up.

“General Sentiment's MediaMatch platform uses social analytics to match like-minded audiences and brands as well as sync up their TV viewing habits. This offers a tremendous opportunity to advertisers whose priority is to make sure their ad dollars in the broadcast space are well spent."

Impact Media Value measures the brand reach, placing a value on the overall level of discussion and exposure for the brand. For the purpose of this report, General Sentiment isolated the top 20 of more than 100 quick-service brands. More details on what drove buzz for the top five brands between Feb. 1 and April 30 of this year follow:

  • Starbucks’ Impact Media Value was driven by news surrounding the introduction of its Verismo coffeemaker in early March. This is another effort by Starbucks to enter the single-cup market, and it is one that is expected to complement the company’s relationship with Green Mountain Coffee’s Keurig brand.
  • Buzz around McDonald’s was a result of the announcement that its COO, Don Thompson, will become CEO of the company after current CEO Jim Skinner retires in July. Additionally, McDonald’s decision to eliminate the use of ammonium hydroxide with hamburger meat increased positive discussion in February.
  • Taco Bell’s new Doritos Locos Tacos led discussion for the brand in March. The new offering was credited for the company’s increased earnings in the first quarter.
  • Burger King revamped its menu after years of losing market share to competitors McDonald’s and Wendy’s. Criticized for not keeping up with consumer tastes, the fast food chain introduced new wraps, salads, and fruit smoothies. Burger King also announced that it would go public after 18 months of private ownership.
  • Chipotle’s “Back to the Start” advertisement, which aired during the Grammy Awards, was a social media and Twitter triumph. The ad features Willie Nelson’s cover of Coldplay’s “The Scientist” and promotes Chipotle buying unindustrialized meat. Reactions to the ad generated nearly $860,000 of Twitter Impact Media Value.


General Sentiment’s MediaMatch technology determined the top TV show matches based on audience size, amounts of audience overlap, and audience overlap percentages. The list ranks these brands based on percentage overlap.

  • The best matches for Starbucks’ 2,522,207-user audience were Up All Night, Kitchen Nightmares, and Iron Chef America.
  • McDonald’s audience, which had 487,303 Twitter users, matched with the World Series, Franklin & Bash and Wipeout.
  • Taco Bell’s audience, with 196,518 Twitter users, best matched the same shows as McDonald’s audience, although Wipeout took second place behind the World Series. Franklin & Bash ranked third.


“Not only do advertisers need to grow their audience, but they need to understand their audience's interests and viewing habits,” Artzt says. “General Sentiment's MediaMatch platform isolates audiences and matches any advertiser to the most suitable media, creating a win-win opportunity for TV networks and advertisers when making ad placement decisions.”

To access the General Sentiment QSR MediaMatch report, go to:

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