The Very First TV Commercial Only Cost $9 to Air


With the Super Bowl only a couple of weeks away, a lot of people will be focusing on the commercials as much as the actual football being played. After all, a large chunk of the people who watch the games care more about the new, hopefully fun and inventive ads than the action on the field. Amazingly, this year Fox, who will be airing the Super Bowl, is charging $4 million per 30 seconds. That’s an absolutely staggering number.


And it also kind of puts into perspective how much television has changed when you consider that when the very first television commercial aired in 1941, it only cost…are you ready for this?


Yeah, that’s not nine thousand, or even nine hundred. When watch company Bulova ran the world’s first advertisement on July 1, 1941, the entire cost for airtime was less than you pay for a medium pizza in this day and age. The ad ran for only 10 seconds, and the entire thing consisted of a picture of the United States with the Bulova logo smack in the middle, and kept up the company’s tradition of advertising firsts. Bulova also ran the first nationally broadcast radio commercial in 1926.

Just something to keep in mind when you see the latest Budweiser commercial during the Super Bowl and think about the fact that it cost more for those 30 seconds than most of us will ever earn in a lifetime.


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