Anniversary of the 1st TV Commercial


"The American TV audience that tuned in to see the Brooklyn Dodgers take on the Philadelphia Phillies on July 1, 1941, likely didn't realize they were about to witness TV history. But when a 20-second scene of a Bulova clock face appeared on their screens, overdubbed with the phrase, "The world runs on Bulova time," the estimated 4,000 viewers witnessed a milestone: the first paid TV commercial." [source: TV Acres]. x "As anyone who watches modern TV knows, commercials are an integral part of television broadcasting. The advertisements have not only changed the way we shop, but they've also changed the way TV broadcasts are produced. TV dramas often break for commercials at high-tension moments, compelling viewers to sit through the commercials to see what happens next. And the production of TV commercials has become a high-stakes business that commands as much influence as the broadcast programming itself. New York-based Bulova Watch Company reportedly paid $9 for that 1941 commercial, an infinitely small sum compared to the millions of dollars spent on commercials that run during modern events like the Super Bowl. The small ad was just the tip of a broadcasting iceberg, and one has to wonder if the Bulova advertising representatives -- or the broadcaster who sold the ad -- had any idea what would evolve from that brief broadcasting moment."  [source: The Most Expensive Journal]. x Bulova paid $9 for the world's first television commercial, a July 1, 1941, placement on New York station WNBT before a baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. Here are some more first commercials: Original Raid Commercial from 1948:   Original Maytag Repairman Commercial: Here's a one of the first Band Aid commercials: I love how they are talking about the colors when the commercial is in black and white! ROFL x If you liked this post, make sure to subscribe to our RSS Feed so you don’t miss one and SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter: for even MORE communication fun, FREE gifts, Book of the Month Club and exclusive excerpts and offers we don’t share with ANYONE else but our subscribers! x

3 comments


  • Cindy Holman

    I love that too! Too funny! The things you can find on youtube are so fascinating – I’m always looking things up – mostly old songs – and usually they are THERE!!! Thanks for the journey back in time today ;)


  • Hilton Neves

    Thanks a lot! Wonderful article, ma’am!
    Loved it! Shared it on FB.


  • Carla

    Great stuff, JoJo! I used to love the lonely Maytag repairman commercials! Can you imagine what Bulova would pay today for that same time slot? 70 years can make a big difference.


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