AN INTRODUCTION TO THE HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT OF TELEVISION ADVERTISING
The idea of an advertisement on television is directly connected to the production of a television program by hand, which is then developed and aired with the intention of raising awareness about a product and providing something that will be appealing to consumers who have already purchased the product as well as those who have not yet done so. The most significant advantage that television advertising provided to its first users was an audio-visual form of content dissemination. This greatly simplified the process of reaching out to customers, but at the same time it put a strain on the budgets of the businesses as a result of the increased costs of such marketing. For instance, the cost of an advertisement spot lasting thirty seconds during the Super Bowl is approximately three million dollars (Condry, 2017). It is very important to discuss the impact that television advertising has had on a variety of different industries, from the moment it was first implemented to how it has changed in modern times.
The history of television advertising spans at least seven decades, and it is important to do so. In the summer of 1941, a watch manufacturing company known as Bulova launched its very first advertising campaign on television in the United States, making it possible for television to be used for commercial purposes for the first time (Fennis & Stroebe, 2015). Not only did this pave the way for television advertising to become possible everywhere in the United States, but it also marked the beginning of television advertising everywhere else in the world. The advertisement was rather straightforward, as it only consisted of a map and a clock superimposed on the map of the United States; the precise length of time that the advertisement was displayed was ten seconds (Fennis & Stroebe, 2015). The advertisers made the decision to air their commercial on NBC just prior to the game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Brooklyn Dodgers so that they could reach the greatest number of potential customers. As a result, the phenomenon of television advertising promptly led to a rapid growth of the potential of audio-visual content, which was even greater than the previous growth. Because of Bulova’s advertising campaign, experts in the field of television advertising came to the realization that the market in question is unexplored and ought to be investigated in order to increase profits and broaden access to consumers. Botany Worsted Mills and Pan American, two of the largest companies operating at the time, were at the forefront of making the best use of television advertising and created distinctive advertising spots for their products in order to differentiate themselves from their competitors in terms of marketing and the relationship between the company and its customers (Bell, 2016).
It was obvious that the profit margin of television advertising would experience a significant boost as a result of the significant increase in the number of television sets that were in use in the United States throughout the entirety of the 1940s.
Association of Advertising Agencies – a regulatory body that would be responsible for overseeing the advertising industry and introducing legal changes as necessary. This association would be known as the “Advertising Agencies Association.” In the following decade, the United States (and the entire television advertising industry in general) were exposed to the single sponsor trend, which ultimately took over the country and created premises for further development of advertising. This trend ultimately led to the dominance of the single sponsor, which ultimately led to the dominance of the single sponsor. The concept of having a single sponsor consisted in the fact that there was a single business operator who would sponsor the entire show and then proceed to create advertisements for the purpose of marketing their products and services.
This was the reasoning for having a single sponsor (Andrews & Shimp, 2017). This is a considerable departure from what we can observe in the modern world, in which companies buy the right to display their advertisements on a network, thereby making space for a number of different companies to operate. Colgate and General Electric are two firms who did well by taking advantage of the trend of having a single sponsor and using it to their advantage (Turow, 2018). During the course of the 1950s, the first television advertisements began to appear on both American and European television.
In 1955, the first commercial for a toothpaste brand called Gibbs Toothpaste was broadcast on European television. The following decade became significant for television advertising because it was during this time that the concept of commercial breaks was first introduced. This landmark became extremely important for businesses because it gave them the opportunity to interrupt television series in order to showcase their wares. In the 1960s, the practice of having a single sponsor began to fade from the forefront of television advertising.
This was due to the fact that multiple companies were able to use the same advertising platform in concert with one another, and they did not need to compete with one another for the same advertising spot (Newcomb, 2014). Because there were businesses like Crest and Tide that quickly came to the conclusion that television advertising might be one of the most resourceful means of marketing, this choice ultimately became the best opportunity for businesses to expand. Specifically, this option became the best opportunity for businesses to expand because of the following: According to Newcomb (2014), the typical length of an advertising spot in the 1960s was between 30 and 60 seconds, with a total of around 10 minutes of advertising spread across the course of an hour-long television program. In the realm of television advertising, the 1970s became known as the decade of experimentation and debate.
For instance, the administration carefully monitored the advertising that was shown on television, and very quickly any commercials that encouraged people to smoke cigarettes and other tobacco products were made illegal (Kellner, 2018). Because television networks made considerable profits from cigarette commercials and an update to their commercial policy would lower the amount of financial gains, this resulted in a contentious debate between the firms that were behind the ads and the government. According to Bell (2016), throughout that decade, the expansion of television advertising and its reach into even more fields was accompanied by a simultaneous rise in the marketing efforts of alcohol corporations. This phenomenon was observable throughout the decade.
The following two decades laid the groundwork for even further expansion of the television advertising industry. This was made possible by the fact that the length of time that commercial breaks lasted expanded from ten minutes on average to twenty minutes on average from the 1970s to the 1990s. Closer to the end of the 20th century, the American television had seen the introduction of TiVo, a television scheduling program that could be used to skip commercials, which received serious criticism from businesses that significantly benefited from their marketing initiatives. TiVo was a program that could be used to skip commercials on American television (Ansari, Garud, & Kumaraswamy, 2016). The 1990s were also the decade in which prominent athletes and actors began making cameos in television advertisements. This helped pave the way for a whole new category of commercials that might appeal to an even larger pool of prospective clients. The introduction of cable television, which enabled lesser-known businesses to sell their wares on television as well, was the single most important factor in the expansion of television advertising that took place in the tenth and last year of the 20th century (Ansari et al., 2016).
The one and only distinction was that smaller businesses were unable to compete on a national scale and consequently had to focus their marketing efforts on the local community in order to sell their wares. As a result, the history of television advertising across its whole half-century span could be characterized as having a variety of singular positives and negatives.
According to the data, there are much fewer individuals viewing live television in comparison to the 20th century. This disparity can be attributed to the fact that television corporations are transitioning toward a digitalized version of television (Kitchen & Proctor, 2015). Some of the people who still watch what is considered to be “vintage” television exhibit similar tendencies, with the primary distinction being that they frequently record shows in order to view them at a later time. Television is being consumed by members of Generations X and Y not only via the use of traditional television sets but also through the use of a variety of other devices that are capable of streaming content. On the other hand, members of the Baby Boomer generation do not spend nearly as much time checking social media platforms and websites like YouTube. In spite of this, people of every age group continue to spend time watching television, either in real time or after the fact, which is beneficial for marketers. On the other hand, Millennials have quite different viewing habits (similar to those of Generation Z), as they are willing to create their own unique viewing experience and select only the sources of information that are of interest to them. This is in contrast to Generation Z, who have a much more passive approach to media consumption. These people spend their time on online platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, and a wide variety of others that they can relate to rather than watching television (Campbell, Martin, & Fabos, 2018). Advertising on television is still effective with Generation Z and Millennials because both of these generations have a propensity to watch live television; however, the average amount of time spent in front of a TV screen by these generations is significantly less than that spent by their parents and grandparents. Because of this, the concept of television advertising is constantly evolving, and advertisers are making efforts to approach their target audiences in a thoughtful manner. This is done in order to increase the effectiveness of advertising even among populations that do not spend a significant amount of time in front of the television. The usefulness of modern television commercials is mostly focused on enabling businesses to reach older individuals who are accustomed to watching television as opposed to scrolling through their Facebook or Instagram feeds. This demographic presents a significant opportunity for advertisers (Bellman, Robinson, Wooley, & Varan, 2017). Because younger generations may consider the ability to control viewership to be one of the primary benefits associated with online interaction with advertising, caution should be exercised when using television as a tool for advertising purposes so that the company can reach the maximum number of potential customers. This is important so that the business can maximize its potential market share.