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Television: Advertising’s Relentless Juggernaut

Stephen Gnall 30 Aug 2016 • 2 mins read

How television has revolutionised advertising

The world’s first paid television ad vibrated across New York City TV screens on 1st July 1941. The exact dollar figure has been lost to time, but what we do know is that the Bulova watch company paid somewhere between $4 and $9 to broadcast their logo, along with the phrase, “Bulova Watch Time” just prior to the opening pitch of that evening’s Phillies/Dodgers game on WBNT.*

The rest is history. But it’s also the future.

It’s true. The growth of digital advertising continues to soar. But that hasn’t kept broadcast TV advertising from continuing to thrive right along side it. And when you take on board the considerable head start television has on emerging digital platforms, there’s no denying that the old goggle-box remains the undisputed heavyweight champion when it comes to reach – and influence.

Television is the public address system of the world. If you need to be heard today; appear on television tonight. And, while social media may be the place where conversations are happening, the bulk of those conversations are sparked by, or revolve around, content that appears on television.

Television is the public address system of the world.

That’s not a knock on social media either. Social media is awesome. And useful. But it is what it is – a mixed bag of virtual hangouts and digital proxies for the public forum that are great for discussions and debate, but not yet (and potentially never to be) ideal for the kind of broad-based and straightforward delivery effective advertising demands.

The way people view and consume TV has changed over the years, for sure. So has the face and form of competing/complimenting advertising mediums. But what’s managed to remain doggedly consistent is television’s effectiveness when it comes to driving sales. For all the folderol and trumpery that surrounds emerging digital media, when it comes to maximising brand exposure and stimulating growth, television is king.

*the visiting Philadelphia Phillies beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 6-4 in 10 innings

You can check out that first Bulova watch company ad here: