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ABC Fall Season Jingles
PART ONE: ABC
- A tradition of excellence -

ABC network promosby Billy "def" Ingram
with major contributions by
Dan Ferriera, Brian Karimzad
and Justin Kaplowitz.

 

The networks use jingles and slogans to sell their fall season offerings like so much laundry detergent. When you're number three, obviously you try harder.

ABC was born as an offshoot of NBC in 1943, with television broadcasts beginning in 1948. In 1953, ABC aired a full prime-time schedule for the first time thanks to a partnership with Paramount Pictures.

Because ABC was a much younger network than NBC and CBS, (they both started out with the advent of radio in the 1920s) the fledgling net had to play catch-up both in prime-time and daytime for years because they didn't have the resources (money, stars and long-established relationships) that their competition had access to.

abc jinglesABC had a limited success in prime-time throughout the fifties and sixties. Bolstered temporarily by scattered hit shows like The Rifleman, 77 Sunset Strip, Ben Casey, The Real McCoys, and Batman, the network never seemed to have more than one or two shows in the yearly top ten at any one time during its first two decades.

ABC network logoStill, the alphabet net produced some of the best on-air promotions in the business, like this pop-art psychedelic piece from the 1967-68 season. Flashy graphics with star-laden quick cuts were the order of the day for ABC promos in the sixties.

Despite strong promotion, ABC was in last place as the sixties ended, the butt of cruel jokes like, "Want to end the war in Viet Nam? Put it on ABC, it'll be gone in 13 weeks!"

The net's strategy to turn things around was visionary - aim for a younger audience than the competition. Energetic ABC programmers like Michael Eisner (now head of Disney) and Barry Diller (QVC) pioneered the idea of using demographics to target audiences - selling the largest number of 18-49 year-olds to advertisers instead of the largest overall numbers. Shows like The Brady Bunch, Nanny and the Professor and The Partridge Family carried the network into the seventies.

Moving into the polyester decade with that momentum, ABC began to regularly beat its rivals in key demographic ratings with hits like The Movie of the Week, The FBI, and The Mod Squad.

To compliment (then ultimately replace) their annual hour-long Fall Season Preview Shows, ABC commissioned three-minute jingle-driven videos to sell the network's new offerings.

On the next two pages, we'll look at some of the best examples of these slickly produced, cutting-edge advertising gems - films that led to the development of music videos as we've come to know them.

1970 promo - Let's Get Together

 

NEXT: GROOVIN' IN THE 70s
Audience bonding,
bizarre marketing and huge success
- then stunning failure!

1970s TV Shows

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Hit Shows of the Seventies: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy / Gene Roddenberry in the 1970s / 1977-1978 Superhero & Science Fiction TV Shows / Patrick Duffy of Dallas Interview / Best Season of Dallas Ever? / TV Show Book Tie-Ins / Mary Kay Place Albums of the 1970s / Mary Kay Place Albums of the 1970s / That Girl & TV's Single Working Women / Star Trek Animated / Dark Shadows / Dark Shadows Movies / Dark Shadows Novels / Dawn Wells / Gavin McLeod / The Music Dark Shadows / 1970 TV Shows / Mike Wallace, Virginia Graham & Jim Longworth / Dick Clark / 1973 TV Shows / Thriller / The Jacksons TV Show / Fall Previews of the 70s / Lance Link, Secret Chimp / Star Wars Holiday Special / Alias Smith and Jones / 1977 Year in Review / Top Ten 1970-76 / The Rockford Files / All in the Family / Sam Hall (Dark Shadows) Interview / Death of Archie / Battlestar Galactica / Wonder Woman / Network Jingles / Class of '74 / Happy Days / Good Times / Mr. Bill / Dinah! / Maude / Doris Day Show / Pamelyn Ferdin Interview / The Bicentennial Minute / Jingles & Catch Phrases of the 1970s / Early Cable TV 1970s / TV commercials for Women / TV Moms / Country Music TV Shows of the 1960s & 1970s / Betty White Show / Ron Palillo / Shirley Jones Interview / Tom Bosley / Rodney Dangerfield / How Sanford & Son Ended / Sanford & Son Spin-Off Grady / Great Memoirs / Virginia Graham Show / The "N" Word on TV / 10 Classic Comedy Routines You Have To Laugh At Before You Die / Hollywood Squares / 1970's Teen Idols & The Hudson Brothers / TV Stars with 3 Hit Shows / The Rookies / Unsold Pilots / Jackie Cooper / The Good Guys / Match Game / Make Room For Granddaddy / Mannix & Gail Fisher / Bette Midler in the 1970s / Bonus 1970's Stuff: Silent Star Marion Mack / Biff Burger / 1970s Fast Food Chains / Latin Casino / Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire / 1970's Daytime Talk Shows / The Fess Parker Show / Love, Loss & What I Watched

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