July 1, 1941 goes down in history as the day when the first ever legal TV commercial was aired. The ad was of Bulova watch. It was aired on TV on WNBT channel owned by NBC (National Broadcasting Company). Another interesting fact is that the commercial was aired at 2:29 p.m., right before the baseball game between Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies.
The 10-second black and white spot featured America’s map along with the Bulova watch that aired for 9 seconds with the voiceover: “America runs on Bulova time”. Bulova paid in a total of nine dollars to get its commercial on air which included four dollars for air fees and five dollars for station fees. At that time, reports suggest that New York had around 4000 televisions.
This simple commercial by Bulova came to define the entire TV ad industry as we know it today. A natural progression to this for sure has been in video commercials produced for a variety of mediums.