And now a word from our sponsor
You can be sure this TV commercial was live
If Westinghouse appliance sales weren't grim enough in the 1950's,
this live TV commercial on "The George Gobel Show" (CBS) put the
nail in the coffin.
Some genius on the product engineering panel came up with the idea of a push bar automatic door opener. The user was suppose to bop the oblong W bar with his hand or elbow and an electromagnetic device would release the door and allow it to spring open.
On this live broadcast, try as she would, the door would not open for the demonstrating spokesperson. She gave excuses, punched the bar again, the demonic door would not open.
When the single television camera panned in to a facial close up, you can see the shadow of the door being jimmied. As the camera panned back to the wide shot, the door was open (thanks to stagehanfs, we suppose).
The commercial ended with the slogan "you can be sure if it's Westinghouse." You can be sure heads were rolling the next day at the big W.
Other Live Commercial TV Disasters
- 1956 Arthur Godfrey Time Someone forgets to heat the Lipton Tea, Godfrey spits it out.
- 1957 The Steve Allen Show: Pooch relieves himself during dog food blurb
- 1958 The Big Beat Show Aside from the beauty pageant disaster, fill in host Bobby Darin also flubbed soda ad - he called the pop Pepsi when the sponsor was nemesis Coke.
- 1958 Life Is Worth Living Another fridge disaster, hostess couldn't find defrost button on the Admiral. Oh well, she could always switch to Norge.
- 1982 Live Infomercial Think by the 80's TV was too sophisticated for flubs? On a Carrington No-Run Hosiery barker, the model forget to wear the hosiery when she walked on camera. Alas, her legs looked great undraped. Also, on the knife drag test, the pantyhose slit.
- 1984 Pocket Sewing Machine The ad was videotaped, but even when the plasticky, battery operated sewing machine jammed going up the drape, they left the footage in. Guess the sponsor ran out of studio production time dough, or didn't have another Pocket Sew, or both
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