Although there had been experimental television broadcasts since the 1920s, public television broadcasting began on 17 October 1956 in Sydney and 4 November 1956 in Melbourne. Five stations were operating in time to televise the opening ceremony of the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne on 22 November. Television advertising was to present new opportunities for advertisers, including food manufacturers.>Television in Australia
The first advertisements to appear on television were spots for Rothman’s Cigarettes, Pepsi-Cola, Audiphone Aids and headache powder Vincent’s. Mortein’s famous Louie the Fly made his evil debut in 1957. Among the first food companies to use television broadcasting to promote their products were old favourites Aeroplane Jelly and Vegemite. Both brands had popular jingles, developed for radio, which now became the basis for their television advertising.
Some food brands, including Kraft Cheese, Milo and Cadbury had already made cinema advertisements which could be adapted for television. Live television broadcasting, with shows like In Melbourne Tonight, could include live ads such as this one for Griffith’s Koolmints. The IMT host, Graham Kennedy, was noted for unpredictable ad-libbing and advertisers sometimes benefited from live ads that ran for much longer than the 60-seconds they had paid for.
At first television was only in black and white, with colour TV not to arrive until 1975. This meant that food advertising was somewhat lacking in appetite appeal. For many years the emphasis remained on catchy jingles and lengthy pack shots at the end of each commercial.