Here’s what television’s first commercial looked like 75 years ago today

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Photo courtesy of Dave Birss/YouTube

Seventy-five years ago today, television aired what is considered to be the first legal commercial.

“Evidence is mounting that [TV] will gain little headway for ‘the duration,'” Ad Age wrote in June 1941 following the FCC’s approval of commercial TV.

A month later, Bulova aired a 10-second spot featuring the face of a Bulova watch over an outline of the U.S. According to Ad Age, the commercial ran during an afternoon Dodgers-Phillies game on NBC-owned WNBT. The original ad also featured a voiceover from announcer Ray Forrest saying “America runs on Bulova.”

YouTube user Dave Birss recreated the ad, using his own voice to imitate Forrest’s. He says it cost him $5, which is just $4 less than what the original cost.

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