Did you know? The company that help put man on Moon also ran the first TV ad

The Bulova Corporation, formerly called Bulova Watch Company, is considered to be the pioneer of modern marketing techniques.

Bulova Logo
In 1926, when radio was a new phenomenon and not many understood the power of this new advertising medium, Bulova ran the first known radio commercial, "At the tone, it's 8 P.M., B-U-L-O-V-A, Bulova time". In the 1930s, 40s, Bulova were sponsors of all of the top twenty radio shows of the time. During this same period, Bulova became the first watch and clock manufacturer to start spending more than $1 million a year on advertising. 

It wasn't a surprise, thus, when in 1941 television advertising became legal, Bulova produced the first-ever TV commercial. This 10-second commercial depicted a Bulova clock and the map of the United States with the live voice-over  "America runs on Bulova time." This ad cost Bulova all of $9, which in today's money is $150, and was watched by 4000 Americans.

Apart from mass advertising, Bulova also experimented with a number of other branding techniques. In 1926, Bulova offered a prize of $1,000 for the first pilot to successfully make a solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic. In 1927, Charles Lindbergh's epic flight from New York to Paris, won the prize. In 1932 it ran a competition, another first of its kind, to challenge its customers to name the latest timepiece in its collection. In 1956 they co-sponsored the "Jackie Gleason Show", the largest sponsorship commitment of any watch or jewelry-related business in history.

In 1955, an independent survey by A.C. Neilson Company showed that Americans saw more national advertising for Bulova products than for any other products, in any other industry, in the world. Bulova continued to step up their advertising and sponsorship campaigns and

Apart from being the company whose watch was used to measure the distance of the moon from the earth, Bulova Corporation has a series of iconic firsts to its credit. The company's new 2016 ad campaign takes inspiration from this rich history of industry firsts.


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