Intellectual Property & Popular Copying
22 September 2015 by Marketing Team
The 60th Anniversary of TV Advertising in the UK
22nd of September 2015, marks the 60th, yes 60th, anniversary of the first TV advertisement in the UK.
With the first TV advertisement broadcast in the UK on this date 60 years ago, for Gibbs SR Toothpaste, its unbelievable to see the development in TV advertising from then to now. However, despite some obvious changes and advances in what advertisements can do, are they really all that different from the past? Or from each other?
In 1955, this black and white, lottery placed advert graced our screens on ITV whereas today we see a colourful extravaganza of adverts across a plethora of channels and TV streaming websites.
Yet even from this one simple advert, you can see how the modern toothpaste advert has evolved and grown into what we see in 2015, 60 years on.
You may notice some things you instantly recognise from todays adverts. The Gibbs SR Toothpaste advert, depicts a simple chart; this was an easily digestible and visual method of portraying statistical information in regards to the advertising of the benefits of using a certain toothpaste or product. In 2015 however, these charts and graphs have become ‘all singing, all dancing’ with dramatisation often being used to portray some of the same information seen in the past, albeit in a much more graphically impressive way – the core message and information though, still remain remarkably similar.
In regards to TV advertising in general, we can also see a clear development with links throughout the years, with advert progression usually able to be classified as evolutionary, not revolutionary. Some adverts are clearly exceptions to that rule, some are ground-breaking and different. Often though, someone will come up with a successful idea which will be replicated by others, until something ultimately better, the ’new unique’, comes along, this is known as popular copying.
We see this often in TV adverts, from the simplistic example of the success of the toothpaste adverts, charts and graphs which have remained relevant thus being replicated by each and every brand, improved upon gradually throughout the last half a century.
Another more prominent example includes the use of iconic music – for instance the success the 1971 Coca Cola advert, using the New Seekers track – ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing’. This format has been reignited and replicated throughout the decades. Notably with the memorable Cadburys 2007 Gorilla campaign, with the backing of the iconic Phil Collins track – ‘In The Air Tonight’. It continues to be replicated with the likes of John Lewis and Twinning’s following suit using respectively, Fyfe Dangerfield track – ‘Always a Woman’ and Charlene Soraia track – ‘Wherever You Will Go’. Today, adverts can even create the iconic music.
Throughout the decades TV adverts have evolved in many other ways as well; they have almost halved in time from an average of 1 min to 20 -30 seconds and advancements in technology have seen leaps and bounds of changes in scope and creative possibilities. The likes of the ‘everyday women’ have also been changed for celebrity endorsements with the likes of Holly Willoughby and Shakira being associated with toothpaste brands among many examples.
The future will of course see yet more evolution of the humble TV advert, from this authentic content to the personalised, social adverts we are beginning to see today and that will surely become ever more important in shaping the future of adverts. The next 60 years of TV advertising certainly promises to be just as interesting as the last 60.
But we must remember to protect our ideas, especially where popular copying and gentle evolution of ideas are so commonplace. Intellectual Property rights are important aspects for business, which, once registered, are capable of being bought, sold or transferred between entities as with any other type of business asset – this can be in the form of a TV advert.
Developing a business, its reputation, goodwill and establishing a corporate brand are important aspects for any business. All such elements developed by a business are therefore, necessary to be protected by way of Intellectual Property rights, to ensure that these are secure, specific to the business that has developed them and cannot be used or copied by anyone else, be it a competitor or otherwise. This can be very difficult to do in regards to TV advertising.
Such protection of these aspects of businesses via intellectual property rights is always of paramount concern to business, no matter their size or sector.