Saturday, July 9, 2011

Dear Diary, Nielsen rating style

I remember many years ago, my sister, Hertha, said yes to filling out a TV-watching survey diary for the Nielsen Rating Company. She was a woman of strong opinions and determined precision. So I'm pretty sure she gave them plenty to think about. National advertisers want the kind of information the Nielsen Rating company compiles.

So when I was contacted recently and asked if I'd like to participate, I said yes. It was only for 8 days. Seems to me that when Hertha did it, it was for a much longer period of time. When my two diaries arrived (one for each TV in the home), there was a crisp dollar bill inside. Not sure what the message of that was. . . . See if you can buy an ice cream cone for your trouble?

My job was to fill out a general survey about myself, then write down each bit of TV (over 5 minutes) that I watched. Also write down any of the DVR'ed programs that I watched. And if I were to leave the TV on while I was gone----to keep a pet company or deter burglars---well, make note of that, too.

As noted on the front, Larry called. He told me to write that down. He's a Nielsen employee in Florida that called to go through all the details of how to do the survey. Hm-m-m. His call was on Day #7 of the 8 day survey. Is he backed up on his calls, or what? Good thing I love to read and had figured it already. And for inquiring minds, that day the temperature in his Florida city was just the same as Boise - - - but with nearly 100% humidity, says Larry.

I did my "duty" and mailed my diaries back, just as I was told. So much easier than being on jury duty!

So now they can check the trends. If they are looking at trends, depending on the 8 day info I sent in, it would go something like this:

*Never watches local TV (I don't receive local channels)
*Rarely watches programs live
*Gets hooked on one show/channel and stays there for a hunk of time
*Records freely from whatever channel is a free demo for that month
*Goes many hours without turning the TV on
*Never uses the second TV
*Loves her DVR feature
*Does not entertain pets nor deter burglars

What would the Neilsen ratings find as your TV-watching trends?


  1. -Watches local tv occasionally.
    -Watches live programs, when run out of dvr-ed ones.
    -Flips between atleast 2 shows at a time, if not watching a movie. (Must have my dad's channel flipping gene.)
    -Goes without watching tv during daytime hours.
    -Uses second tv only occasionally.
    -Also loves the DVR feature.
    -Also does not entertain pets or burlars. :)

  2. oh fun, I got to do that once, it was cool.
    -definitely loves the DVR
    - watches way too much reality TV
    - uses second TV frequently because Keith doesn't share my love of reality TV