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Brought to You By

Postwar Television Advertising and the American Dream

By Lawrence R. Samuel

Publication Year: 2001

Published by: University of Texas Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v

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pp. vii

Many thanks to Jim Burr, Allison Faust, Nancy Bryan, and the other fine folks at the University of Texas Press aswell as copy editor deluxe Sue Carter for bringing Brought to You By to fruition. Thanks also to Mark Hirsch, Ann Miller, Richard Wentworth, Douglas Armato, Susan Ferber, and the anonymous readers, ...

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pp. ix-xxi

Between the years 1946 and 1964, American television—and much of American culture—was brought to you by television advertising. The aim of this book is to show how television advertising was ground central for the postwar American Dream, both shaping and reflecting our national ethos of consumption. ...

PART ONE: Home Sweet Home

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pp. 1

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1. The Precocious Prodigy, 1946-1952

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pp. 3-45

This is the story of the birth of the most powerful advertising medium in history, a story that has never been fully told. In the seven or so years following the end of World War II, the fledgling upstart medium of television advertising would irrevocably alter the social, economic, and political landscape of the United States. ...

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2. Shower of Stars, 1953-1955

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pp. 46-84

In April 1953, a group of fashion models gathered at one of NewYork City’s leading drama schools. Sent by the Ford Agency, the models were there to learn how to overplay versus underplay their emotions in order to take advantage of the new opportunities television advertising presented. Specifically, the models ...

PART TWO: Keeping up with the Joneses

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pp. 85

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3. The Spark Plug of Prosperity, 1956-1958

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pp. 87-121

As executives from the television and advertising industries planned for the 1956-1957 season, they could each look back at what had been achieved to date with some deserved glee. The year 1955 had been a key moment in advertising history as television passed all other national media for the leading position. ...

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4. A Mist Settling on Our Pond, 1959-1960

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pp. 122-150

As America rocketed toward the 1960s, television advertising was pushing its own envelope, heading out to new, unexplored frontiers. Despite the upheaval in the shift in power in the sponsor-agency-network relationship, television advertising was proving to be highly resilient, in part because its host medium was still growing. ...

PART THREE: The New Society

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pp. 151

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5. Think Young, 1961-1962

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pp. 153-181

In January 1961, executives of Pepsi-Cola decided that the time was nowright to make a full-scale launch into television advertising. Pepsi was one of the great icons of American consumer culture, but the company had only sporadically used network television through the 1950s. With a newly elected, youthful president ...

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6. The Psychic Air We Breathe, 1963-1964

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pp. 182-220

As America entered the final years of the baby boom and what I believe to be the postwar era, television advertising was in the midst of a major transition. The single-sponsor system and live format of commercial television were all but extinct, replaced by the more efficient and formulaic prescription of Hollywood ...

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pp. 221-228

As a defining site of twentieth-century American culture, the first era of television advertising is a vital piece of our history that has been largely neglected. Retracing the steps of postwar television advertising addresses this historical oversight and, in the process, sheds new light on our understanding of our national ethos ...


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pp. 229-251


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pp. 252-266

E-ISBN-13: 9780292798588
E-ISBN-10: 029279858X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292777620
Print-ISBN-10: 0292777620

Page Count: 288
Illustrations: 22 b&w photos
Publication Year: 2001