First Commercial Introduced
On Radio Broadcast
"Visit our new apartment homes in Hawthorne Courts, Jackson Heights,
where you may enjoy community life in a friendly environment."
-- H.M. Blackwell
Lincoln, Me. (DG)--
If you're familiar with infomericals on TV, you already know it's an annoying half hour of people endlessly talking about and selling a product to the viewing audience.
While we think of the infomerical as a new idea, it wasn't. A primitive form of this idea began on radio in 1922 with the very first radio commercial. The only difference was the material presented on the radio commercial could not contain a sales pitch to the listeners. This was due to direct selling on the air wasn't allowed.
On station WEAF in New York, a 10-minute radio program was presented on the air. It was a brief talk by H.M. Blackwell, a representative of the Queensboro Corporation. The subject matter of the program consisted of some apartment homes at a complex called Hawthorne Court in Jackson Heights, New York. Blackwell talked about care free life in the suburbs (where the complex was located) that was free from the hustle, bustle, and congestion of living in the city.
When the broadcast was coming to its conclusion, Blackwell closed it out with, "Let me close by urging you to hurry to the apartment house near the green fields..... the community life and friendly environment that Hawthorne advocated."
Since direct selling wasn't allowed, Blackwell's presentation was considered to be an "indirect direct" way of selling the people on the idea of moving to Hawthorne Court. Blackwell didn't mention anything about the rates the apartment complex charged, and he mentioned the Queensboro Corporation name only once.