Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Eugene Polley dead at 96.
I think about this because Eugene Polley, a Zenith engineer's death notice is in "The New York Times" today. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/23/business/eugene-t-polley-inventor-of-the-wireless-tv-remote-dies-at-96.html?_r=1&ref=obituaries Of course you haven't heard of Polley, nor had I. But he invented the wireless remote control for television. Here's what he said about it: “The flush toilet may have been the most civilized invention ever devised, but the remote control is the next most important. It’s almost as important as sex."
This all happened nearly 60 years ago when Zenith president Eugene McDonald believed viewers would revolt en masse against television because of the "scourge of commercials."
So Polley invented the first "zapper." Back in 1955.
Today, of course, you can't spit in a modern advertising agency without hitting a 24-year-old telling you that TV is dead. That all commercials are zapped.
Maybe it's time for us in advertising to take a different view of commercials.
Maybe--despite all the protestations--people actually like them.
If they didn't, after all, they could just zap them.
Posted by George Tannenbaum at 7:39 AM