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A Look Back at the Early Days of TV Advertising

Hosted By: DOROT

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When television began in the late 1940s, advertising was already a vital part of the picture. TV’s first big hit, Milton Berle, appeared on The Texaco Star Theater; Frank Sinatra hosted Bulova Watch Time. Throughout the 1950s, advertisers were fully in charge, controlling the content of a large part of prime time, and selling their products through live demonstrations, celebrity testimonials, inventive animation, and ads that integrated directly into the program. With the shift away from full sponsorship to 30-second “participating” spots in the 1960s, a new era of creativity emerged, as advertisers embraced new techniques and approaches in order to reach new generations of consumers.

This talk will look at how advertising changed during television’s first two decades and the important role it played in convincing viewers that the key to happiness lay in quite literally buying their way into the American dream.