Branded Content

3 keys to engage QSR customers effectively

Note: Verizon Media is now known as Yahoo.

For quick service restaurant (QSR) brands, there's more to the marketing meal than just the message. Reaching your audiences means tapping into the content and formats they crave so your story can get heard. You may know your customers' orders, but do you understand their behaviors and passions?

Verizon Media tested the impact of different types of creative on the QSR/retail customer based on over five years worth of ad effectiveness research. This study establishes marketing best practices to build loyalty, trust, and consideration with customers. We found that inspiring ad creative drives the biggest impact for QSR brands, influencing 2X higher affinity, purchase intent, and interest than any other format.1

In the same study, customer feelings toward a brand were most impacted by engaging formats, emotionally resonant creative, and high-quality content.

Pizza Hut's Hometown Heroes campaign is a best-in-class example of using these learnings to help a client make deeper audience connections. After reviewing proprietary data, Verizon Media made several key discoveries about Pizza Hut's target audience of 20-30 year old Hispanic males who consume fast food:

  • 4.5X more likely to be interested in Sports content than the average consumer2
  • 72% watch online video in an average week3
  • 50% care about volunteering or humanitarian causes4

These findings led to the development of our content program, "Hometown Heroes," a two-part documentary-style series providing a rare glimpse into the work star athletes do to give back and inspire the next generation. The campaign successfully increased awareness, recall, brand association, and favorability including an 86% lift in brand association with football and 90% sponsorship recall, 7.4X higher than the non-exposed group.5

Case Study


So, how do QSR brands reach customers and inspire brand love? It's all about creating a positive experience. Follow these three tips for giving your audience more of what makes them happy.

1. Feast on engaging formats

Customers who frequent QSRs are often from the same target groups who consume the largest amount of mobile video, suggesting that many food and beverage brands are missing a crucial marketing opportunity if they aren't leveraging video advertising.

The best format is one that resonates with customers' heart strings. This means funny, heartwarming, or educational material that connects emotionally will leave audiences with a better impression of your brand, ultimately leading them down the path to purchase. The best content is story-driven, and prioritizes narrative and audience engagement over selling the brand. In other words, put the story first and the brand payoff will follow.

2. Creative plating matters

The less a video feels 'like advertising' the more informative and authentic it will seem. More than 61% of consumers don't care if content is branded, as long as it's high quality. Producing more professional mobile ads can increase brand familiarity by 36%, brand recommendation by 19%, and message recall by as much as 120%.6

All brands have a story to tell. The challenge is communicating it in a way that makes consumers stop what they are doing to actually reward a brand with their undivided attention. By working with a multi-disciplinary creative team, such as Verizon Media's award-winning RYOT Studio, QSR brands can extend their reach and make a lasting impact with audiences.

3. Feed your audience at the right time and in the right place

Even if your creative tugs on heartstrings and looks great, customers still need to see your videos in the context that best serves your restaurants. By understanding your audience's mindset and motivations for content consumption, you can become more powerful with your campaign strategies.

Create memorable moments by tapping into our 200B daily diverse data signals that capture audience intent. Verizon Media can help you craft a campaign that will reach the exact audiences you want, at exactly the right time.7 By combining moment-based segmentations with traditional targeting methods, QSR brands are able to recognize the many diverse needs that your content can serve.

67% of customers feel less favorable towards brands whose ads appear next to low quality content. Partnering with brands to create content that matches your voice, places your premium content in the best light. With Verizon Media, you can attract the highest quality audience and engaged users while delivering the best results for your brand across properties, apps, and beyond.8

Verizon Media offers sponsorships and custom branded content to help QSR brands cut through. With engaging formats, professionally-generated content, and the audience you're looking for. With Verizon Media and RYOT Studio, you can make sure your brand's story isn't just well-told, it's also well-heard.


  1. Verizon Media, Radius/Ipsos Study, 300 Content Tests, 2013-2018; 60 Campaigns, n=63,000
  2. Verizon Media, Internal Data, Dec 2018
  3. Verizon Media, Internal Data, Dec 2018
  4. Comscore, Plan Metrix Audience Profile, Verizon Media, Dec 2018
  5. Sticky, 3rd Party Campaign Reporting, n=433
  6. The Alchemy of Connection Study,Verizon Media, 2016
  7. Verizon Media, internal data, 2019
  8. Yahoo-Nielsen study, 2016

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