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History of Advertising on Television from 1950 to the Present Day

Patrick Bedford | Thursday July 30, 2009

Categories: Advertising, More on Advertising, Other Topics, Television

Key Concepts

Advertising - To call attention to, raise awareness of, generally make potential customers aware of a product or service.

Marketing - Marketing in its purest form is making people (customers) aware of your product or service. 

Mass Market – A large section of people who have the same wants and needs. The petrol market is a mass market.

Niche Market - Opposite of mass market. A relatively small segment of a market with customers who have specific wants, needs and interests.

Target Market/Audience – A specific group of people who a company aims their products or services to.

Market Segmentation – The process of dividing people into groups that have similar characteristics, likes or dislikes.

Fragmentation – To break something into little pieces. The television industry has crumbled from 1 channel in the 1950’s to hundreds upon hundreds in the present day.


In this study I will look at the progression of television advertising from the 1950s to the present time. Each decade will be investigated in terms of technological advances (and how that helps companies advertise) and types of advertisements used. Also included in the investigation will be a look into the forms and conventions, representation, institution and audience of an archetypal advertisement from that decade. 


What Happened In This Decade?

The early 50’s would see the continuing development of the television in the home. Main developments in television came with a link across the channel to France (August 27th 1950) and a link to Eurovision (June 6th 1954).  1958 also saw television households exceed radio only households. This meant that television advertising could now reach more people than radio making it more attractive to companies.

September 22nd 1955 was to be a landmark date for television and television advertising in the United Kingdom.

This saw the launch of Associated Rediffusion (what we now know as...

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