TV Adverts and how they have changed to reflect the society we live in today

Almost everybody these days have seen at least one TV advert over the course of their lives and now research suggests even children from the age of 3 are now able to distinguish different adverts branding and what they are promoting. It is scary to think that just under a century this media format has became such an integrated part of our modern day society, a far cry away from the Radios or the Newspapers before it.

Even though the television was first brought out for public sale in back in the 1930s it wasn’t until the late 1940s after the second world war that it really took off. One of the key things most people remember about the Television when it was first released was the Royal coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, not long after this Television adverts were introduced and the beginning of the publics desire to have what they see on TV begun.

The first ever TV advert that was broadcast in the UK was Gibbs SR Toothpaste, this would put into place the structure of how TV adverts would be set out and it hasn’t really changed  a great deal since have a look for yourself:

Over the 1950s the United Kingdom was still recovering from the Second World war and many people felt the optimism of a fresh start especially after rationing had ended, this led to more people buying what they wanted when they wanted. Many TV broadcasting companies started to exploit this and felt that they shouldn’t be telling consumers what they need but more what they want and that their life would not be complete without a certain product.

When adverts started to come out lots of companies also felt that they would not be very memorable and people would lose interest therefore jingles were also launched and many companies decided that the catchy tunes would entice the consumers into buying their product overtime they saw or heard the same music, sort of a hypnosis on a mass scale

Some key adverts from the 1950s that feature the infamous jingles include:

Wrigley’s Chewing Gum


Murray Mints


Pepsi Cola


So we can clearly see how the jingles of the time really caught on with their slick smooth rhythms and catchy lyrics but what changed in the next decade?

In the 1960s, television become slightly better and some of them were even recorded in colour, it may have been technicolour but still a lot different to the black and whites of the previous decade.

some examples of adverts from the 1960s are as follows:

Green Giant Nibblets Corn and Green Beans

another aspect that begun to be targeted heavily int he 1960s was children and teenagers as companies realised that as children watch television they become more obsessive easily and lots of brands noticed this and began campaigns such as this one:


Here are some other adverts that came out in the 1960s that reflected the UKs growing need to buy and the target of children even though some of the adverts would not be shown today:

Moving on into the 1970s lead to a radical change as nearly all adverts from then on became colour, plus a new law was passed that banned the broadcast of Cigarette and Alcohol adverts on television, this law is still relevant today and the only advertisement for Alcohol that you will see today will be sponsorships for sports etc.

Some iconic adverts of the 1970s included these:


Not much  changed from the 1970s up until now but a lot of the adverts have just became more technically advanced. Nowadays most people have the opportunity to skip through them however it wasn’t until the 1980s that it was made possible with the introduction of the VCR Home Video Recorder.

Here is a 1980s advert for the VCR:


In the 1990s there weren’t many changes however the products that companies were selling did change quite a bit due to technology becoming more advanced and finding its way into the home. The biggest piece of equipment that found its way into the home was the personal computer here are a couple of adverts from the 1990s that made consumers really feel like they had to have one to keep up with the ever changing modern world:



Moving onto the new millennium brought a whole new aspect on how television was viewed from the analogue to digital conversion to the internet becoming more and more of a killer for traditional TV viewing. Service such as Netflix and Love film finally eradicated rental shops such as Blockbusters for movies but recently TV show boxsets have become increasingly popular with most people not even having an aerial or satellite fitted due to the millions of tv shows and movies at their fingertips. Here are some advertisements from the last ten years:

This way of watching TV started to ease out the traditional advertisements however many companies are now promoting their products on services such as youtube and non-paid subscription services, this limits the amount of adverts that people see when watching TV but with the internet being used constantly and social media being used every day people actually now see far more advertisements than they did 60 years ago and I do personally feel as though the more we advance the more adverts will develop to enforce their products onto us (The public) and we will never escape the captivity of the infamous advertisement.



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