Q) What Was The First Toy To Be Advertised On TV?
Ans: Potato Head
In 1946, there were only 6000 televisions in the US which rapidly grew up to 12 million by 1951. So many things came and went by; so many sitcoms and TV commercials. Most of us are used to seeing toy ads on TV.
But have you wondered when did it all start? No, not television; I am talking about Toy advertisements. Well, to take you even further – do you know what the first toy to be advertised on TV was?
No, I am not letting you scroll down and find out by seeing the image. You have to read and find out. Wait, are you scrolling and not reading? This is so not fair. Anyways, here is the info you are looking for –
Potato Head: The First Toy To Be Advertised On TV
It might be news to many of us, but Mr. Potato Head was the first toy to be ever advertised on TV. George Lerner first invented the toy, and Hasbro manufactured this toy. The commercial for potato head toys started to roll out in the US in April 1952.
When did you think the children started to nag their parents for those new toys? Well, that would be 1952. These toys were marketed to children, and around a million toys were sold within a year. This small innovative marketing by Hasbro earned them huge success in 1952.
Potato Head: Things You Need To Know
This might surprise many of us, but the earlier Potato heads were actually real potatoes. Mr. Potato Head, or the first of its kind, actually contained eyes, nose, ears and a mouth. Back then, parents had to offer their children real potatoes.
But, soon, complaints started to come regarding moulding vegetables. Also, in the 1960s, there were new government regulations. As a result, Hasbro had to include a plastic body for Mr. Potato Head.
Toy Story & Mr. Potato Head
Marketing on television made Mr Potato popular. But, as the company introduced new family members, Mr. Potato Head started to gain more followers, and the sales increased. Indeed it was the first toy to be advertised on TV.
Thankfully, it occupied its place on TV. Mr. Potato Head got his place in the popular film franchise. Yes, you guessed it right – Toy stories. Oh, wait, I already wrote Toy Stories in the heading (talk about ruining a surprise).
Mr. Potato Head also got featured in the Burger King advertisement. It was also in TV shows for children. Funny story – Mr. Potato Head was also made into a giant helium balloon and was featured at the Thanksgiving Day Parade of Macy’s.
The Toy Story movie franchise grew into a massive $3 billion franchise, and it influenced a huge range of kids. After five years of the debut of the film, Mr. Potato Head got included in the National Toy Hall Of Fame.
Harmful Sides Of Toy Advertisements
Most of the positive sides of advertising toys usually benefit manufacturers. These advertisements are not mindless. In fact, so much thought and planning go into making an advertisement (also for toys).
The manufacturers have to think about their target audience, whether the advertisement will be well received by the audience or not, and so many things. They also have to think of the psychological effect of the advertisement on children.
1. Increasing Demands For Toys
With more robust toy advertisements growing, the demand for toys in children. It is good for the manufacturer as they can benefit from the growing demand. But, the parents face a hard time trying to handle their children’s growing desires.
2. Growing Bad Habit
Toys are mostly fun until they promote bad habits such as smoking or drinking. Yes, there are toy advertisements indicating smoking and drinking are cool.
3. Setting Unrealistic Standards For Beauty
Some toy advertisements portray unrealistic beauty standards, and they often impose these on children through unrealistic TV ads.
Read More: The Importance of Marketing to a Business
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
I know that you have more questions that you need to be answered. Here, I have answered a few relatable ones, so you have some additional info.
Ans: The first toy that was advertised on television in the UK was Mr. Potato Head. He was the first toy to be ever advertised on TV in any country. This toy became so popular that after the first year of advertisements for Hasbro, the manufacturer sold 1 million units in the US alone.
Ans: Surprisingly, the first MR. Potato Head toy did not include a body. There were only eyes, mouth, and nose. Parents had to give their children real potatoes so that they could attach the parts with them and play. After the 1960s, Mr. Potato Head started to get a plastic body after complaints started coming about the use of real potatoes.
Ans: The most selling toy is the Barbie doll, with Over three billion in sales. Lego follows Barbie with 320 billion blocks made. Hot wheels also sold over 4 billion units. There are Rubik’s cubes and cabbage patch kids. G.I. Joe, and Silly Putty.
Ans: George Lerner, a toy maker, born in Brooklyn, came up with the idea of using small parts of vegetables and making toys out of them. His toys were named “Funny face man”.
I hope that you found out what was the first toy to be advertised on TV. I have explained that toy in detail in this article. Mr. Potato Head is among the best toys that many of us can remember as a child. It had its fair share of fame and controversy. There are other toys with far more sales and fame than Mr. Potato Head. However. It is and will remain the first toy to be advertised on TV.
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Shahnawaz is a passionate and professional Content writer. He loves to read, write, draw and share his knowledge in different niches like Technology, Cryptocurrency, Travel,Social Media, Social Media Marketing, and Healthcare.