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What the First TV Ad Ever tells us about our Technological Complacency

Source: Filmaker IQ Blog

What the First TV Ad Ever tells us about our Technological Complacency


After years of unpaid experiments, the FCC officially opened up the airwaves to commercial television broadcasting on July 1, 1941.  NBC’s experimental W2XBS in New York City received the first commercial license becoming WNBT. That very same day, at 2:30PM just before a broadcast of a Brooklyn Dodgers – Philadelphia Phillies baseball game, NBC aired the very first television commercial in the world. [embedded content] That’s the story according to Ad Age, Fortune, Entertainment Weekly, Slate, Adweek, OpenCulture and many more. Even the official Emmy’s site has an image of this very commercial in their write up. Only one problem - THAT’S NOT THE AD THAT AIRED!! Here’s a picture of the ad as it was created: We have corroboration on the design of the advertisement from a piece that ran in Broadcasting Magazine July 14 1941 Further corroboration comes from Jim Von Schilling’s book, “The Magic Window: American Television, 1939-1953” WNBT aired TV’s first commercial at 2:30PM; i was simply a picture test pattern that had been redesigned into a working clock, ticking off the seconds in front of the TV camera. The sponsor’s name, Bulova, appeared on the clock, which ticked for a full minute at 2:30 and later again that night. Bulova paid four dollars for the afternoon spot and eight dollars for the evening, and afterwards they signed up for thirteen weeks of similar commercials. (page 37) Okay so a bunch of sites saw a YouTube video claiming to be the first TV ad ever produced and bought…Read more at: What the First TV Ad Ever tells us about our Technological Complacency

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