Nielsen Tracks Presidential Candidates’ Ad Time

Aug 21, 2008  •  Post A Comment

New data from the Nielsen Co. finds that while Barack Obama has run more local TV spots than John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee has placed more national cable TV ads than his Democratic counterpart during June and July.
Nielsen surveyed ad numbers and online buzz for each candidate as the parties’ national conventions get set to begin.
Sen. Obama’s camp has run 70,381 local TV ads compared with Sen. McCain’s 57,132 ads. On the national cable TV front, Sen. McCain leads Sen. Obama with 562 spots to 142.
The ads counted ran from June 4, the official start of the general election campaign season, to Aug. 1.
With regards to local TV spots, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are in the top five ad markets for both candidates, reflecting their status as important battlegrounds this fall. Florida tops Sen. Obama’s list of top markets while Iowa rounds out Sen. McCain’s top five. The number of local TV spots for June 4-Aug. 1 is as follows:
Sen. Obama’s Top Ad Markets (Ad Units)
Florida (7.387)
Ohio (7,154)
Michigan (6,597)
Pennsylvania (6,130)
Wisconsin (4,985)
Sen. McCain’s Top Ad Markets (Ad Units)
Ohio (10,136)
Michigan (7,988)
Pennsylvania (7,426)
Wisconsin (6,224)
Iowa (4,383)
(*Source: Nielsen Co.)
Neither party ran ads in national broadcast or syndication during that time period, though both Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain have purchased advertising during NBC’s coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Online video consumption through each presumptive nominee’s Web site has switched dynamics. While Sen. Obama led in total streams on his site with 967,000 compared with Sen. McCain’s 377,000 during the month of June, streams on Sen. McCain’s site skyrocketed to just over 1 million in July while Sen. Obama reached about 500,000.
The shift may be attributed in part to the controversial ad Sen. McCain released in late July comparing Sen. Obama to celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.
The Democratic National Convention is scheduled for Aug. 25-27 in Denver, while the Republican National Convention is slated for Sept. 1-4 in St. Paul, Minn.
More viewers have watched the DNC than the RNC on TV since 1960 each election year except for three—the 1972 Richard Nixon nomination, the 1976 Gerald Ford nomination and the 2004 George W. Bush nomination.

One Comment

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