Obama’s Local Buys Added Up

NEW YORK Nielsen’s final look at the 2008 presidential candidates’ ad buys proved one famous mantra: all politics are local.

President-elect Barack Obama placed 155 percent more spot TV ads than Sen. John McCain during the general election season (June through November 2008), and almost twice as many ads dating back to the beginning of January when the primaries were just heating up.

The local numbers show a much bigger discrepancy than those for national cable and network buys. McCain kept pace with Obama in those categories, with Obama edging out his rival by just 136 ad buys in cable and network combined, dating back to January.

Other notable campaign facts from Nielsen’s research:

— Obama’s ads were on the airwaves more than twice as much as McCain’s in the final month before the election (210,245 vs. 97,023 ad buys).

— McCain took early advantage of Obama’s long primary battle with Hillary Clinton, which ended June 3. McCain bought over three-and-a-half times more spot TV ads than Obama in June (26,594 to 7,251), the only month that McCain beat his opponent in that category.

— McCain made a major push with national buys in September, besting Obama 10 to 1 in cable and network ad buys.

— The two candidates alone combined for almost 850,000 total ad buys dating back to January.

Adweek is a unit of the Nielsen Co.