Last night more than thirty million Americans watched nearly wall-to-wall network and cable television coverage of Senator Barack Obama’s closing argument for the 2008 presidential campaign. Critics describe the historic event as a tremendous success because the emphasis in the commercial is on the issues of the campaign.
It is the first time a presidential contender has purchased a half hour in prime time on national television to reach the undecided voters. The Democrat party candidate and his strategists purchased a thirty minute block of prime time advertising from the major networks CBS, NBC and Fox, as well as Spanish-language broadcast outlet Univision, MSNBC, BET and TVOne. CNN and ABC did not participate and from the early audience numbers announced by Nielsen, the company that specializes in such things, those two networks missed out on a ratings boost.
The viewership numbers for Wednesday nights at 8PM usually average twenty-three million viewers. When all the outlets that carried the ad are counted the preliminary numbers for last night’s total audience for the political half hour program in prime time are considerably higher.
McCain huckster, er-ah spokesman Tucker Bounds reacts: “As anyone who has bought anything from an infomercial knows, the sales-job is always better than the product. Buyer beware.”
We say Tucker Bounds obviously knows nothing of the history of the infomercial, the quality of the products offered or Ron Popeil, the innovator of the format. It’s obvious to us, and there are others who agree, Tucker Bounds does not know what he does not know.
The ad’s content was in keeping with the consistent message of the Obama-Biden campaign. It was dignified, poised and on topic about the things ordinary Americans are concerned about. The ad showcased the qualities Americans should now be seeking in a leader.
A Reminder: If you have not yet voted be sure to VOTE Tuesday, November 4th 2008