Nowadays it seems that there are more television commercials than show on television. If fact if you watch any of your favorite one hour programs, there are only 44 minutes of the show (which includes all the credits, etc.) and a whopping 16 minutes of commercials. That is more than 20% of the entire hour, mor ethen 25% of the length of the show.

But did you ever wonder when it all started. What is the history of the first television commercial? What was it and when was it shown?

The first television commercial was shown in the United States on July 1, 1941. It was a 10 second spot by the Bulova Watch company. It aired on the New York City affiliate WNBT (now WNBC) before a baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies and lasted 10 seconds.

The commercial was very simple – not much more than a print ad on film really. It showed a Bulova watch displayed on top of a map of the United States with a voiceover that said “America runs on Bulova time!”

The cost for this commercial – a whopping $9.00. (In today’s dollars, that comes to about $120.00.)

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