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Encyclopedia > Television commercial

A television commercial (often called an advert in the United Kingdom) is a form of advertising in which goods, services, organizations, ideas, etc. are promoted via the medium of television. Most commercials are produced by an outside advertising agency and airtime is purchased from a television channel or network. Advertising, generally speaking, is the promotion of goods, services, companies and ideas, usually performed by an identified sponsor. ... An advertising agency or ad agency is a service business dedicated to creating, planning and handling advertising (and sometimes other forms of promotion) for their clients. ... The term television channel generally refers to either a television station or its cable/satellite counterpart (both outlined below). ... A television network is a distribution network for television content whereby a central operation provides programming for many television stations. ...


The first television commercial aired at 2:29 p.m. on July 1, 1941, when the Bulova Watch Company paid $9 to WNBT for a 10-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!" [1] July 1 is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 183 days remaining. ... For the movie, see 1941 (film) 1941 (MCMXLI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1941 calendar). ... Bulova is a New York based corporation making watches and clocks. ... WNBC, NBC4 is the flagship TV station of the NBC television network with studios located in Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. ... A view of the playing field at Busch Stadium II St. ... For the 1930s NFL team, see Brooklyn Dodgers (football). ... Major league affiliations National League (1883-present) East Division (1969-present) Major league titles World Series titles (1) 1980 NL Pennants (5) 1993 â€¢ 1983 â€¢ 1980 â€¢ 1950 1915 East Division titles (6) [1] 1993 â€¢ 1983 â€¢ 1980 â€¢ 1978 1977 â€¢ 1976 Wild card berths (0) None [1] - In 1981, a players strike in...


The vast majority of television commercials today consist of brief advertising spots, ranging in length from a few seconds to several minutes (as well as program-length infomercials). Commercials of this sort have been used to sell every product imaginable over the years, from household products to goods and services, to political campaigns. The effect of television commercials upon the viewing public has been so successful and so pervasive that it is considered impossible for a politician to wage a successful election campaign, in the United States, without airing a good television commercial. Infomercials are television commercials that run as long as a typical television program (roughly thirty minutes or an hour). ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... A politician is an individual who is a formally recognized and active member of a government, or a person who influences the way a society is governed through an understanding of political power and group dynamics. ... An election is a decision making process whereby people vote for preferred political candidates or parties to act as representatives in government. ...

Contents


Characteristics of commercials

Many television commercials 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, "Oh no, Mrs. Burke! I thought you were Dale!", from the 1968 through 1970 Post Grape-Nuts cereal advertisements. Variations of this catchy dialogue and direct references to it appeared in other media forms 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. Comics (or, less commonly, sequential art) is a form of visual art consisting of images which are commonly combined with text, often in the form of speech balloons or image captions. ... Old book bindings at the Merton College library. ... Popular culture, or pop culture, is the vernacular (peoples) culture that prevails in a modern society. ... Oh no, Mrs. ... The picture sleeve of a Wheres the Beef single, recorded by Coyote McCloud and Clara Peller, based on her legendary advertisement Wheres the beef? is a catch phrase, which has, since it its first usage, become a somewhat universal, all-purpose phrase questioning the substance of an idea... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Walter Frederick Fritz Mondale (born January 5, 1928) is an American politician and member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. ... Ive fallen. ...


For catching attention of consumers, communication agencies make wide use of humour. In fact, many psychological studies tried to demonstrate the effect of humour and indicate the way to empower advertising persuasion.

An animated TV commercial
An animated TV commercial

Animation is often used in commercials. Techniques can vary from hand-drawn traditional animation to different forms of computer animation. By using animated characters, a commercial may have a certain appeal that is difficult to achieve with actors or mere product displays. For this reason, an animated commercial (or a series of such commercials) can be very long-running, several decades in many instances. A notable example is the series of commercials for Kellogg's cereals, starring Snap, Crackle and Pop. The animation is often combined with real actors. Image File history File links Lasolcommercial. ... Image File history File links Lasolcommercial. ... An animated cartoon is a short, hand-drawn (or made with computers to look similar to something hand-drawn) moving picture for the cinema, television or computer screen, featuring some kind of story or plot (even if it is a very short one). ... Traditional animation, sometimes also called cel animation or hand-drawn animation, is the oldest and historically the most popular form of animation. ... Computer animation is the art of creating moving images via the use of computers. ... Character animation is a special aspect of the animation process, in which life is breathed into an artificial character. ... For other things with Kellogg in the name, see Kellogg (disambiguation). ... Snap, Crackle and Pop as they are usually portrayed today. ... A live-action/animated film is a motion picture that features a combination of real actors or elements (live action) and animated elements, typically interacting. ...


Other long-running ad campaigns catch people by surprise, or even tricking the viewer, such as the Energizer Bunny commercial series. It started in the late 1980s as a simple comparison commercial, 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 commercial 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 commercial--viewers were oblivious to the fact that the following "commercial" was actually a parody of other well-known commercials 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 subliminal ad campaign lasted for nearly fifteen years, and was obviously shown at random times on television, often in the least-watched time periods. The Energizer Bunny series has itself been imitated by others, via a Coors Light Beer commercial, in motion pictures, and even by current commercials by Geico Insurance. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Coors Brewing Company is one of the world’s largest brewery companies. ... GEICO is a personal lines auto insurance company based in the United States. ...


TV commercials in the United States

Frequency and length

TV commercials appear between shows, but also interrupt the shows at intervals. This method of screening commercials is intended to capture or grab the attention of the audience, keeping the viewers focused on the television show so that they will not want to change the channel; instead, they will (hopefully) watch the commercials while waiting for the next segment of the show. This is a technique of adding suspense, especially if the break occurs at a cliffhanger moment in the show. A cliffhanger or cliffhanger ending is a plot device in which a movie, novel, or other work of fiction contains an abrupt ending, often leaving the main characters in a precarious or difficult situation. ...


Entire industries exist that focus solely on the task of keeping the viewing audience interested enough to sit through commercials. The Nielsen ratings system exists as a way for stations to determine how successful their television shows are, so that they can decide what rates to charge advertisers for their commercial airtime. When TV viewers or entertainment professionals in the United States mention ratings they are generally referring to Nielsen Ratings, a system developed by Nielsen Media Research to determine the audience size and composition of television programming. ...


Commercials take airtime away from programs. In the 1960s a typical hour-long American show would run for 51 minutes excluding commercials. Today, a similar program would only be 42 minutes long; a typical 30-minute block of time includes 22 minutes of programming with 6 minutes of national advertising and 2 minutes of local (although some half-hour blocks may have as much as 12 minutes of commercials).


In other words, over the course of 10 hours, American viewers will see approximately an hour and a half more commercials than they did in the sixties. Furthermore, if that sixties show is rerun today it may be cut by 9 minutes to make room for the extra commercials. Rerun van Pelt is the name of Linus and Lucys younger brother in the comic strip Peanuts. ...


Back in the 1950s and 1960s, the average length of a television commercial was one minute. As the years passed, the average length shrank to 30 seconds (and often 10 seconds, depending on the television station's purchase of ad time). However, today a majority of commercials run in 15-second increments (often known as "hooks").


Popularity

In the United States, the TV commercial is generally considered the most effective mass-market advertising format, and this is reflected by the high prices TV networks charge for commercial airtime during popular TV events. The annual Super Bowl football game is known as much for its commercial advertisements as for the game itself, and the average cost of a single thirty-second TV spot during this game has reached $2.5 million (as of February 2006). The winning Super Bowl team receives the Vince Lombardi Trophy. ...


Because a single television commercial can be broadcast repeatedly over the course of weeks, months, and even years (the Tootsie Roll company has been airing a famous commercial that asks "How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?" for over three decades), television commercial production studios often spend enormous sums of money in the production of one single thirty-second television spot. This vast expenditure has resulted in a number of high-quality commercials, ones which boast of the best production values, the latest in special effects technology, the most popular personalities, and the best music. A number of television commercials are so elaborately produced that they can be considered miniature sixty-second movies; indeed, many film directors have directed television commercials both as a way to gain exposure and to earn a paycheck. One of film director Ridley Scott's most famous cinematic moments was a television commercial he directed for the Apple Macintosh computer, that aired in 1984. Even though this commercial was aired only once (aside from occasional appearances in television commercial compilation specials), it has become famous and well-known, to the point where it is considered a classic television moment. A patriotic advertisement for Tootsie Rolls during World War I For information about the hip-hip song Tootsee Roll, see 69 Boyz. ... Mr. ... Lasers were used in the 2005 Classical Spectacular concert Special effects (abbreviated SPFX or SFX) are used in the film, television, and entertainment industry to visualize scenes that cannot be achieved by normal means, such as space travel. ... Film refers to the celluloid media on which movies are printed. ... The film director, on the right, gives last minute direction to the cast and crew, whilst filming a costume drama on location in London. ... Sir Ridley Scott (born November 30, 1937 in South Shields) is an influential British film director and producer. ... A screenshot from the commercial. ... The first Macintosh computer, introduced in 1984, upgraded to a 512K Fat Mac. ...


Despite the popularity of some commercials, most are considered to be an annoyance for a number of reasons. The main reason is that the volume of commercials tends to be higher (and in some cases much higher) than that of regular programming, due to the compression rate of the commercials. The increasing number and length of commercials, as well as commercials for the same product being played back-to-back, is a secondary annoyance factor. A third might be the increasing ability to advertise on television, prompting everyone from cell-phone companies and fast food restaraunts to local businesses and small businesses. The latter two have a smaller budget, so the quality is often lower and contains many advertising clich├ęs. Loudness is the quality of a sound that is the primary psychological correlate of physical intensity. ...


Are commercials also programming?

Since the 1960s, media critics have claimed that the boundaries between "programming" and "commercials" have been eroded to the point where the line is blurred nearly as much as it was during the beginnings of the medium.


In 1973 the FCC decided to define the boundary, especially for children's programming. Since pre-school and school-age children generally have a hard time telling the difference between a commercial and an actual program, the television networks (except commercial-free PBS) were required by the FCC to put explicit bumpers during periods of children's programming and the 7:00 p.m./6:00 p.m. Central Sunday time period ("We'll return after these messages", "Now back to our program") in order for the young viewers to understand when a commercial break was beginning or ending. The only programs that were exempt from this rule were news shows and information shows relating to news (such as 60 Minutes). Conditions on children's programming have eased a bit since the period of the 1970s and 1980s. The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is a non-profit public broadcasting television service with 349 member TV stations in the United States. ... The ticking TAG Heuer stopwatch from 60 Minutes. ...


TV commercials outside the United States

Europe

In many European countries television commercials appear in longer, but less frequent advertising breaks. For example, instead of 3 minutes every 8 minutes, there might be 6 or 7 minutes every half hour. Specific regulations differ widely from country to country and network to network.


United Kingdom

In the UK commercial television is not quite so relentlessly geared to the needs of the advertisers and there are fewer interruptions, as compared to the commercials in the United States. In addition, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is funded by a licence fee and does not screen adverts. Nevertheless, on the commercial channels, the amount of airtime allowed by the Independent Television Authority and its successors for advertising has risen from 7 minutes per hour in the 1970s to 12 minutes today. With 42-minute American exports to Britain, such as Lost, being given a one hour slot, nearly one third of the slot is taken up by adverts. This article is an overview article about the Crown chartered British Broadcasting Corporation formed in 1927. ... The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC, sometimes also known as the Beeb or Auntie) is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world, founded in 1922. ... The Independent Television Authority (ITA) was a body created by the Television Act 1954 to supervise the creation of Independent Television (ITV), the first commercial television network in the United Kingdom. ... Lost is an American drama television series that follows the survivors of a plane crash on a mysterious tropical island, somewhere in the South Pacific. ...


Finland

In Finland, there are two non-commercial channels run by the state owned broadcasting company YLE, that run commercials only on very infrequent occasions, such as important sports events. The three main commercial channels MTV3, SubTV (a subsidiary of MTV3), and Nelonen ("Four" in Finnish), all run their commercials during breaks approximately every 15 minutes. A typical break lasts about 4 minutes. The length of individual commercials can vary from a few seconds (7,10 and 15 are common), but nowadays they are rarely over one minute in length. Yleisradio (YLE), or the Finnish Broadcasting Company, is a national publicly-funded radio and television broadcaster based in Finland, it was founded in 1926. ... MTV3 is a Finnish commercial television station owned by Bonnier and Proventus, and currently has the biggest audience share of all Finnish TV channels. ... Subtv is a popular TV channel in Finland. ... Nelonen is Finlands fourth TV channel. ...


Music

Prior to the 1980s music in television commercials was generally limited to jingles and incidental music; on some occasions lyrics to a popular song would be changed to create a theme song or a jingle for a particular product. In 1971 the converse occurred when a song written for a Coca-Cola commercial was re-recorded as the pop single "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" by the New Seekers, and became a hit. Some pop and rock songs were re-recorded by cover bands for use in commercials, but the cost of licensing original recordings for this purpose remained prohibitive until the late 1980s. A jingle is a memorable slogan, set to an engaging melody, mainly broadcast on radio and sometimes on television commercials. ... Incidental music is music in a play, television program, radio program or some other form not primarily musical. ... The wave shape (known as the dynamic ribbon device) present on all Coca-Cola cans throughout the world derives from the contour of the original Coca-Cola bottles. ... The New Seekers was a British pop group formed in 1969 by Keith Potger after the break-up of his group, The Seekers. ...


The use of previously-recorded popular songs in television commercials began in earnest in 1985 when Burger King used the original recording of Aretha Franklin's song "Freeway of Love" in a television advertisement for the restaurant. This also occurred in 1987 when Nike used the original recording of The Beatles' song "Revolution" in an advertisement for athletic shoes. Since then, many classic popular songs have been used in similar fashion. Songs can be used to concretely illustrate a point about the product being sold (such as Bob Seger's "Like a Rock" used for Chevy trucks), but more often are simply used to associate the good feelings listeners had for the song to the product on display. In some cases the original meaning of the song can be totally irrelevant or even completely opposite to the implication of the use in advertising; for example Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life", a song about heroin use addiction, has been used to advertise a cruise ship line. Music-licensing agreements with major artists, especially those which had not previously allowed their recordings to be used for this purpose, such as Microsoft's use of "Start Me Up" by the Rolling Stones and Apple Computers' use of U2's "Vertigo" became a source of publicity in themselves. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Aretha Franklin Aretha Louise Franklin (born March 25, 1942) is an American gospel, soul and R&B singer born in Memphis, Tennessee, but raised in Detroit, Michigan. ... Freeway of Love is a single released from Aretha Franklins Whos Zooming Who album in 1985. ... Nike, Inc. ... The Beatles were an English pop and rock music group from Liverpool, who continue to be held in the very highest regard for their artistic achievements, their huge commercial success, and their ground-breaking role in the history of popular music. ... Revolution is a song by The Beatles, written primarily by John Lennon and attributed to Lennon-McCartney. ... Bob Seger Robert Clark Bob Seger (born May 6, 1945) is an American rock musician who achieved his greatest success in the 1970s and 1980s. ... Like a Rock is an album by American rock band Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, released in 1986 (see 1986 in music). ... Chevrolet, or Chevy, is a brand of automobile that is now part of the General Motors group. ... James Newell Osterberg, Jr. ... Lust for Life is a biographical novel of the life of Vincent Van Gogh, by writer Irving Stone, first published in 1934. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is an international computer technology corporation with 2005 global annual sales of US$39. ... Start Me Up is a song by The Rolling Stones which was featured on the 1981 album Tattoo You. ... The Rolling Stones are an English band that rose to prominence during the British Invasion of the 1960s. ... Apple Computer, Inc. ... U2 are an Irish rock band featuring Bono (Paul David Hewson) on vocals, rhythm guitar and, on occasion, [harmonica]]; The Edge (David Howell Evans) on lead guitar, keyboards and backing vocals; Adam Clayton on bass guitar; and Larry Mullen, Jr. ... Vertigo is the opening track and first single release from U2s eleventh studio album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. ...


In early instances, songs were often used over the objections of the original artists, who had lost control of their music publishing the music of Beatles being perhaps the most well-known case; more recently artists have actively solicited use of their music in advertisements and songs have gained popularity and sales after being used in commercials. Famous case is Levi's company which has used several one hit wonders in their commercials (songs such as "Mr. Bombastic", "Inside", "Spaceman"). A music publisher is an agent, who deals in the marketing of songs. ... Levis are a brand of riveted denim jeans manufactured by Levi Strauss & Co. ... In the music industry, a one-hit wonder is an artist who is generally known for only one hit single. ...


Sometimes a controversial reaction has followed the use of some particular song on a commercial. Often the trouble has been that people do not like the idea of using songs that promote values important for them in commercials. For example Sly and the Family Stone's anti-racism song, "Everyday People", was used in a car commercial which caused anger among people. Sly & The Family Stone, circa 1969. ... Everyday People is a 1968 song by the soul/rock/funk band Sly & the Family Stone. ...

See also: List of songs used in television commercials

These recordings have been used in widely-seen television advertisements. ...

Types of TV commercials

Politics is the process and method of decision-making for groups of human beings. ... Infomercials are television commercials that run as long as a typical television program (roughly thirty minutes or an hour). ... Product placement(PPL) is a promotional tactic used by marketers in which a real commercial product is used in fictional media, and the presence of the product is a result of an economic exchange. ... A television commercial donut is a template for a television commercial. ... Sponsorship can refer to several concepts: A sponsors support of an event, activity, person, or organization. ...

The future of TV commercials

The introduction digital video recorders, such as the TiVo, and services like Sky Plus, which allow the recording of television programs onto a hard disk, also allow to essentially skip advertisements. Many speculate that television commercials will be eliminated altogether, replaced by advertising in the TV shows themselves. For example, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition advertises Sears, Kenmore, and Home Depot by specifically using products from these companies. A digital video recorder (DVR) (or Personal video recorder (PVR)) is a device that records video without videotape to a hard drive-based digital storage medium. ... TiVo (pronounced tee-voh, IPA: ) is a popular brand of digital video recorder (DVR), a term synonymous with personal video recorder (PVR). ... A Sky+ box and its remote Sky Plus, or Sky+ is a subscription service which offers a personal video recorder fully integrated with a Sky Digital decoder. ...


Another type of commercial that is being done more and more, mostly for advertising TV shows on the same channel, is where the ad overlays the bottom of the TV screen, blocking out some of the picture. A Banner or Logo Bug, as they are called, are referred to by media companies as Secondary Events (2E). This is done in much the same way as a severe weather warning is done, only these happen a lot more often. Sometimes these take up only 5-10% of the screen, but in the extreme, can take up as much as 25% of the viewing area. Some even make noise or move across the screen.


See also

Advertising, generally speaking, is the promotion of goods, services, companies and ideas, usually performed by an identified sponsor. ... A radio commercial (often called an advert in the United Kingdom) is a form of advertising in which goods, services, organizations, ideas, etc. ... It has been suggested that Product marketing be merged into this article or section. ... In marketing, a brand is a collection of feelings toward an economic producer. ... A phrase used in television commercials to refer to undisclosed competing products by undisclosed competing manufacturers. ... It has been suggested that List of songs used in commercials be merged into this article or section. ...

External links

  • How an animated TV commercial is made
  • Comprehensive list of Music used in commercials
  • What's That Called - database of songs used in commercials in the US
  • What's That Called (UK version) - database of songs used in commercials in the UK
  • What's That Tune? - Extensive database of tunes used in commercials in the UK and Ireland

  Results from FactBites:
 
Search Results for "Television commercial" (0 words)
...A preliminary version of a television commercial in which animated cutout figures are used instead of live participants and real objects.
In the early 1980s Berlusconi founded commercial television networks that wooed the public away from the more stolid...
In 1996 there were more than 1,500 commercial television stations on the air.
Hiding a Television Commercial in Plain View (1318 words)
The sponsored segments were formally identified as such only at the end of each show, when during the closing credits the words "Promotional consideration provided by," followed by the name of the segment sponsor, appeared briefly on screen.
Television networks, advertisers and agencies argue that they must seek nontraditional methods of peddling products because consumers can now easily avoid traditional 30-second commercials by zipping or zapping them with remote controls, VCR's and digital video recorders.
That ended when the cost of sponsoring a show became too prohibitive for a single company and commercials started to be sold one at a time to a variety of advertisers.
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