Wednesday, April 23, 2008
HistoryThe first television advertisement was broadcast in the United States at 14:29 on July 1, 1941, when the Bulova Watch Company paid $9 to New York City NBC affiliate WNBT (now WNBC) for a 20-second spot aired before a baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. It simply displayed a Bulova watch over a map of the U.S., with a voiceover of the company's slogan "America runs on Bulova time!"Characteristics of television advertisementsMany television advertisements feature catchy jingles (songs or melodies) or catch-phrases that generate sustained appeal, which may remain in the minds of television viewers long after the span of the advertising campaign. Some of these ad jingles or catch-phrases may take on lives of their own, spawning gags or "riffs" that may appear in other forms of media, such as comedy movies or television variety shows, or in written media, such as magazine comics or literature. These long-lasting advertising elements may therefore be said to have taken a place in the pop culture history of the demographic to which they have appeared. One such example is the enduring phrase, "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should," from the eighteen-year advertising campaign for Winston cigarettes from the 1950s to the 1970s. Variations of this catchy dialogue and direct references to it appeared even as long as two decades after the ad campaign expired. Another is, "Where's the Beef?", which grew so popular that it was used in the 1984 presidential election by Walter Mondale. And yet another popular catch-phrase is "I've fallen and I can't get up", which still appears occasionally, more than a decade after its first use.Advertising agencies often use humor as a tool in their creative marketing campaigns. In fact, many psychological studies tried to demonstrate the effect of humour and indicate the way to empower advertising persuasion.An animated TV advertisementAnimation is often used in advertisements. The pictures can vary from hand-drawn traditional animation to computer animation. By using animated characters, an advertisement may have a certain appeal that is difficult to achieve with actors or mere product displays. For this reason, an animated advertisement (or a series of such advertisements) can be very long-running, several decades in many instances. A notable example is the series of advertisements for Kellogg's cereals, starring Snap, Crackle and Pop. The animation is often combined with real actors.Other long-running ad campaigns catch people by surprise, or even tricking the viewer, such as the Energizer Bunny advertisement series. It started in the late 1980s as a simple comparison advertisement, where a room full of battery-operated bunnies was seen pounding their drums, all slowing down...except one, with the Energizer battery. Years later, a revised version of this seminal advertisement had the Energizer bunny escaping the stage and moving on (according to the announcer, he "keeps going and going and going..."). This was followed by what appeared to be another advertisement: viewers were oblivious to the fact that the following "advertisement" was actually a parody of other well-known advertisements until the Energizer bunny suddenly intrudes on the situation, with the announcer saying "Still going..." (the Energizer Battery Company's way of emphasizing that their battery lasts longer than other leading batteries). This ad campaign lasted for nearly fifteen years. The Energizer Bunny series has itself been imitated by others, via a Coors Light Beer advertisement, in motion pictures, and even by current advertisements by Geico Insurance.