President Scott McClain said on a conference call: "We are well on our way to becoming a truly national brand."
The $200 million budget represents a 5% increase over the past year, but is up 67% since 2005. Oklahoma City-based Sonic also has a significant presence on national network sports broadcasts.
The spending jump comes even as the chain posted only slight growth, .9%, in same-store sales for the fiscal year. (It's down from 3.1% a year ago.) A .6% decline came in the most recent quarter. Total fiscal-year revenues were $671 million, meaning that media expenditures came in at about 28% of sales.
CEO Clifford Hudson said spots in the coming year will focus on new products and less expensive offerings.