Thanks to the plethora of streaming services available, many of us today have gotten used to skipping (or missing) ads. However, many all remember a time when ads were an everyday occurrence. Something that children had to suffer through on Saturday mornings or before the game would come back on.
There were even commercials that people enjoyed! Jingles got stuck in heads and ads worthy of a full ranking list (such as the spectacle that occurs every year around the Super Bowl).
The Very First Advertisement
The world’s first advertisement aired on July 1st, 1941. It was aired on a US station (WNBT) right before a baseball game, which sounds achingly familiar these days. The ad itself was for Bulova watches, and you can watch it here.
Interestingly enough, the ad was only ten seconds long, and only a few thousand people watched it (thanks heavily to the fact that there were only about four thousand sets in homes at this point).
First UK Advertisement
The first ad to air in the UK was only a few years behind the US. It aired on September 22nd, 1955. It was for GIBBS Sr Toothpaste and focused on all of the product’s ‘fresh’ qualities (their words). You can watch it here.
The Rise of the Jingles
In the 1960s, Jingles hit their all-time high, rising in popularity and digging their way into the public’s brains. The ‘60s debuted dozens of memorable jingles, from Slinky (“Everyone knows it’s slinky”) to Dr. Pepper (“It’s the Dr. Pepper difference”).
First Color TV Ad
The first ad for color television came out in 1965. As in, the very first ad trying to sell the American public on color televisions. It took a while for the nation to catch on since getting a new TV set was no small task.
In 1979 Coca-Cola released an ad featuring Mean Joe Greene. This commercial proved to be groundbreaking for several reasons. First, this ad came out before Pittsburgh Steelers went to and won the Super Bowl XIV. The second? It was the first ad to tackle the Civil Rights Movement, and it went a long way in helping to change public perception.
First Alcoholic Ad
Before 1996, any commercial promoting alcohol had been banned from the waves. Seagram was the first commercial to take advantage of the growing leniency, releasing an advertisement for Crown Royal.
Filming In Space?
Tnuva Milk, an Israeli drink, made its way into the Guinness Book for World Records after it aired a commercial filmed in space. It was the very first of its kind, and it was a memorable moment.
The Rise of Streaming Services
When streaming services began to garner attention, they had a few options to go with. Platforms like Netflix opted to skip out on ads altogether, while platforms such as Hulu allowed for more customization.
In 2007 Hulu released a new streaming package, one that came with options. Viewers could change the pay rate to alter how many commercials they saw, thus altering their viewing experience.
“Yes I Can”
By 2008, political campaigns were not new to the advertising world. Yet Will.i.am changed the game on “Yes I Can” aired as part of Barack Obama’s campaign.
A Decline In (Watching) Ads
The history of advertising brings us full circle, with the rising popularity of streaming services. Thanks to the many options available in terms of streaming (several of which have zero ads), the public has been able to watch fewer ads than ever. Many opt to go with streaming services over traditional cable, cutting out commercial advertising and seeing an overall decline because of the availability.