First, praise for some advertising copy for radio ads we’ve been hearing lately:
1. Comcast – “In business, time is money. Money is money, too.” Now THAT is profound!
2. House paint company selling a sealant rather than regular paint which, the ad points out, has to be re-applied every few years, “Why rent the paint on your house?” Cool,eh? Every time we hear that, we laugh. And we’ve heard it many times.
The cartoon above came from the website noted in the caption. Apparently everybody caught on to the value of radio advertising at once:
The first paid radio commercial was developed by WEAF in New York by American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) in August of 1922. The book “The WEAF Experiment” by an (AT&T) employee describes the concept of “toll broadcasting” as it related to sponsorship of whole programs. (The first sponsor, and hence commercial – according to AT&T – came from the Queensboro Corporation of New York, to sell real estate. The set of five programs over five days starting 8/28/22 cost $50, plus the long distance access fee.)
However, it appears other radio stations may actually have sold advertising before WEAF. As early as May 1920, an amateur radio broadcaster leased out his “station” in exchange for $35 per week for twice-weekly broadcasts.
And, in Seattle, Washington, Remick’s Music Store purchased a large ad in the local newspaper advertising radio station KFC, in exchange for sponsorship of a weekly program, in March 1922. Additionally, on April 4, 1922, a car dealer, Alvin T. Fuller, purchased time or WGI of Medford Hillside, Massachusetts, in exchanges for mentions.
And, based on the cartoon, people began to complain about content almost at once, as well! But it was the start of a huge influence on our economy and political/civic life.
Speaking of radio: here’s a question: why do most of the talk show guys train all their verbal fire on Democrats, especially possible presidential candidates, by name, and absolutely OBSESS over Hilary Clinton, but rarely, if ever, mention potential Republican presidential candidates?
Just a thought.