Classic TV: The 50s : Long ads vs short ads

Long ads vs short ads

Example: "The Buick Berle Show" was an hour-long show, with two commercial breaks only, but they were looooooong.....

Example: "The Colgate Comedy Hour" was an hour-long show, with a short 1-minute (or 1.5 minute) commercial break every 10 minutes.

You can thank (or blame) DuMont for introducing the "short commercial break every 10 minutes" system with their "Cavalcade of Stars" series. Prior to the Cavalcade show, a typical system might be something like that used by "Texaco Star Theater", an hour-long show with a single commercial break that was super-long. Nevertheless, it took a while for the short-break system to be adapted by the majority of series. Actually, according to the book "The Forgotten Network", some critics preferred the long-break system, as it created less of an interruption to the flow of live programs.

Which do you prefer?


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Re: Long ads vs short ads

Short ads, but I'm grateful for the ability to record shows and skip the commercials.

Re: Long ads vs short ads

I remember "The Cavalcade of Stars," and "The Colgate Comedy Hour," but remember Milton Berle only with the Texaco-sponsored program. I was too little to be much aware of the commercial break patterns, at that time.

Now, for me, preference depends on the format of the program.

-Short, quicker breaks are better in the "variety," or other format, where there are natural stops/changes between musical numbers, skits etc..

-For movies, or other presentations with a continuity of focus, I'd prefer fewer longer breaks. (As an adult, I can always find things to do during that time.) The problem with that situation is that stations begin with longer segments of programming, then shorten those segments, as you get "hooked," on the story, and are more apt to endure frequent breaks in order to see it through.







Re: Long ads vs short ads

Considering what I have to pay every month for cable TV, there should be NO commercials at all!

Re: Long ads vs short ads

Then there were the "integrated" ads where the sales pitch was done by the actors in character as just a non sequitur inserted into the story. I think of Humphrey Bogart as a cowardly crook being interviewed by tough cop Jack Benny who tells Bogart he'd better sing, so Bogart does a Dorothy Collins imitation and sings "Be Happy, Go Lucky, Be Happy with Lucky Strike."

Re: Long ads vs short ads

That moment was hilarious.

Those ads lead to the "cast commercials", which were better because they could be edited out without effecting the running time.

This is the DuMont Television Network

Re: Long ads vs short ads

I was watching some "Burns and Allen," programs on YouTube, recently. I had forgotten that they did "cast commercials" for Carnation Evaporated Milk. Usually, it was Gracie with Harry Von Zell.



Re: Long ads vs short ads

Watch a Howdy Doody show. The cast commercials run one after another.

Re: Long ads vs short ads

Actually I was watching some Howdy Doody episodes recently, and they contain three or four commercials during the episode. Not one after another.

It is, however, extremely annoying how they have the kids sing the jingles and spell-out-loud the sponsors names.

But then again, weren't some shows of the 1980s/1990s/2000s pretty much giant ads for a range of toys? So it's not like they got any better.

This is the DuMont Television Network
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