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Reimagining the First TV Spot with Connected TV

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The TV Commercial Doesn’t Look A Day Over 80 Years-Old


HBD to the very first TV commercial! July 1, 2021 marks 80 years since the first broadcast spot aired. It was for Bulova, and this simple 10-second spot embodied innovation and creativity. TV creative hasn’t changed much since then. Technology and consumer behaviors have, but the :30 spot remains “the dinosaur of advertising.”




On its 80th year anniversary, I’m inspired by the courage and creative thinking that Bulova brought to the big screen in its attempt to try out something new. 

Marketers are willing to shell out big bucks for TV spots, but I’ve not seen any real innovation. Why is that? Invest, innovate, and take a few risks. Whether you watch 100% live cable programming, or are an elusive cord cutter, the TV still remains the largest screen in the home. It demands attention.

I challenge our industry to rethink the spot and add some sophistication to creative that matches how we watch TV today. We watch when, how and where we want. We watch on demand, interact with the screen, and expect our content to be personalized to our tastes.

Luckily, Advanced and Connected TV solutions are everywhere and Interactive Connected TV offers a whole new canvas for innovation and creativity. Creative teams and marketers finally have the ability to reinvent what the broadcast spot is and what can be done, while applying learnings from more than a decade of building digital experiences. 

In 1941, Bulova's 10-second spot was innovative, new and exciting, which makes me wonder, given modern day digital and CTV technology advancements, what would this ad look like today? 

Would it be interactive, personalized, shoppable, tracked and measured?  

Now that’s starting to sound interesting...The best part?. It’s available. It's now. And marketers should be quick to get on board, or get left back in the 1940s.  According to Telaria and Hulu, 82% of DTC Shoppers take action after seeing an ad on CTV. So why not give them something to interact with during the actual ad experience?  t

Inspired by the leap that Bulova took on its first foray into TV, our creative team reimagined the spot for the Bulova Sinatra collection to show what is actually possible when you just think outside the box. 



Applying a few simple, modern day principles will help you hit on the emotion and interactivity that consumers crave and turn a generic spot into a remarkable one:

  • Product Gallery: When was the last time you had a say in the products you got to look at during a TV ad? CTV allows you to add interactive product galleries to showcase more than one version of a product, and engage your audience on a deeper level.
  • QR Codes: These black and white squares are a great way to bridge TV and mobile, and get consumers to take further action from browsing products, booking appointments and even purchasing products from the comfort of their couch.
  • Personalization: Dynamic creative with CTV let’s you tailor the content to your specific audience. The ad unit will automatically display watches from the men’s and women’s collections based on the audience attributes and can offer locations for the nearest retailer.

Thankfully these enhancements are not exclusive. They are available to every brand and marketer to help bring your TV creative out of the 20th, and into the 21st Century. So, as we approach the 80th anniversary of the first TV spot, I challenge you to reimagine the spot and do more on Connected TV.


This post originally ran as editorial on

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