Monday, April 18, 2016

The Television Commercial

Harry Wayne McMahan - The Television Commercial: How to Create and Produce Effective TV Advertising (1954, rev 1957) direct link 
Open Library main page

Almost sixty years old but a friend in the business tells me most of the principles are still valid though of course many of the specifics (and the racial attitudes) are long outdated.  Still, if you're interested in building customer identification, effective use of cartoons, getting the most money from jingles (don't put singers on camera or you'll pay twice as much), where humor may help or hurt, writing techniques - it's all here.

McMahan was a columnist for Advertising Age and a consultant (through his Hollywood-based company Five Star Productions).  According to the May 16, 1953 issue of Billboard he was planning to do "psychological research" in Chicago, presumably on the effects of ads.  (That same Billboard page also announced how a potential nickel shortage might limit TV tube production.)   He also wrote a book on TV production.