Nielsen’s Pre-Convention Campaign Scorecard

Nielsen’s Pre-Convention Campaign Scorecard

With the national political conventions starting next week, pundits and the general public, alike, are scrutinizing Barack Obama’s and John McCain’s campaign strategies.

On Thursday, Nielsen joined the fray, releasing an analysis of the candidates’ online presence and buzz, their advertising campaigns, and TV viewership for past conventions. 

Online Audience and Videos Viewed‘s unique audience was twice as large as‘s in both June and July 2008.  However, in July, the number of video streams on more than doubled, possibly due to press coverage around Senator John McCain’s ad that compared Senator Barack Obama to Paris Hilton.

Blogosphere Buzz 

Senator Obama maintains the lead in overall buzz volume on blogs and message boards.  Between June 1 and August 17, Senator Obama was mentioned on blogs twice as frequently as Senator McCain.


Online Advertising

During the summer, the “Obama for America” image-based online advertising campaign increased fivefold — from 80 million impressions in June to 417 million impressions in July. 

TV Advertising

During June and July 2008, Senators Obama and McCain targeted their local TV spots at key battleground states including Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.  Between June 4, when campaigning for the general election began, and August 1,  Senator McCain ran significantly fewer local TV spots (57,132) than Senator Obama (70,381), but placed more than twice as many national cable ads (526) as Senator Obama (142). 

TV Viewership: Past Conventions

Since 1960, only three Republican National Conventions have drawn more television households than the Democratic National Convention: 1972 (presumptive nominee Richard Nixon), 1976 (presumptive nominee Gerald Ford), and 2004 (presumptive nominee George W. Bush).

View the full press release.

Read coverage of Nielsen’s findings in The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Timesthe Tampa Bay Business Journal, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, TV Week, Multichannel News, and Media Post.