OMG! Nielsen Says 2.9 Million Got Obama’s Text Message

I missed a news release earlier this week from Nielsen Mobile, the mobile monitoring arm of The Nielsen Company (and sister firm to TV ratings service Nielsen Media Research), that said the Barack Obama presidential campaign sent 2.9 million text messages last week announcing Joe Biden as Obama’s running mate.

CNet News postulates, extrapolates a bit and reckons that if Obama’s carrier charges him 10 cents per message, that means the effort cost about $290,000.

Would this type of mass-texting effort bill that way? I ask because I honestly don’t know. But that seems like a sound estimate.

But there’s also the matter of whatever the campaign paid Distributive Networks, a small Washington D.C. mobile technology firm that handled the early morning text. Federal Election Commission records show Distributive has received about $130,000 from the Obama campaign, not including August, according to the Associated Press. All that comes to about $420,000 so far.

So was it worth it? Nielsen’s director of insights, Nic Covey, doesn’t talk dollars. But he’s certain the effort was good for the medium of text messaging and the campaign:

  • While much has been said of the timing and the scoop by news outlets, Obama’s VP text message still ranks as one of the most important text messages even sent and one of the most successful brand engagements using mobile media
  • The success of this text-campaign has Madison Avenue thinking even more about how they too can interact with a universe of 116 million text-message users in the US.
  • The value of the message goes far beyond the 26 words and 2.9 million recipients. Here, Obama branded himself as cutting edge, inflated the already enormous press attention paid to his VP pick and further established a list of supporters’ most coveted form of contact: their cell phone numbers.

Covey’s news release also called the message “by many accounts, the single largest mobile marketing event in the US., to date.”

The full news release is after the jump.

More

Pressing ‘send’ – About the 3 a.m. text message [Newsweek]

No data on how many were awake at the time [LA Times]

2.9 MILLION RECEIVED OBAMA’S VP TEXT MESSAGE

The Obama campaign made history and headlines this weekend by announcing Senator Obama’s VP selection via SMS text message.  Estimates vary on how many messages were sent, but how many people actually received a text-message from Obama? Just ask Nielsen.

Nielsen Mobile, a service of The Nielsen Company, estimates that 2.9 million US mobile subscribers received a text message from the Obama campaign over the course of Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

How does Nielsen know this? Nielsen Mobile monitors shortcode marketing (the use of text-message shortcodes such as the 62262 “O-B-A-M-A”) through the world’s largest telecommunications bill-panel, an opt-in panel that reports on the billing activity for more than 40,000 subscriber lines in the US.  It’s just one of the many ways Nielsen reports on wireless and mobile media consumers.

The VP message was sent in the late hours of Friday night and is, by many accounts, the single largest mobile marketing event in the US., to date. From a mobile perspective, it makes sense that the campaign chose to use text-messages. Today, 116 million US mobile subscribers (52 percent of subscribers) actively use text messaging, making it a new mass medium for marketing efforts.

Some additional, on the record thoughts from Nic Covey, director of insights at Nielsen Mobile:

  • While much has been said of the timing and the scoop by news outlets, Obama’s VP text message still ranks as one of the most important text messages even sent and one of the most successful brand engagements using mobile media
  • The value of the message goes far beyond the 26 words and 2.9 million recipients. Here, Obama branded himself as cutting edge, inflated the already enormous press attention paid to his VP pick and further established a list of supporters’ most coveted form of contact: their cell phone numbers.
  • The success of this text-campaign has Madison Avenue thinking even more about how they too can interact with a universe of 116 million text-message users in the US.

About Nielsen Mobile

Nielsen Mobile, a service of The Nielsen Company, is the world’s largest independent provider of syndicated consumer research to the telecom and mobile media markets. Nielsen Mobile focuses exclusively on tracking the behavior, attitudes and experiences of mobile consumers; their reports also provide up to seven years of data on internet, video, gaming, audio and advertising trends for mobile phone users. Nielsen’s technology-driven research provides unique and holistic insight into how mobile customers use their devices and what they think about brands, devices and services. For more information, please visit www.nielsenmobile.com.

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Nic Covey

+1 312-385-6718

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    One Response

    1. […] Message Campaign for the White House Posted on October 28, 2008 by lanceturner We’ve written about this […]

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