What is a KINESCOPES ?

Until the start of videotape in 1956 it was impossible to pre-shoot a good “live” commercial. At the time all you could do is photograph the spot off the TV tube with a motion picture camera called Kinescope recording as the spot aired live. With live television commercials becoming creatively complicated the filmed commercial took center stage. With a camera your studio was wherever the copywriters’ and art designers’ imaginations took us. It also opened up the business of developing ways to use animated commercials as a selling tool. Now with the ability to edit commercials you could manipulate the audience with splices, and special effects that showed that product in the best light, as well as doing more than it should be.


The use of 35mm projectors was the standard when showing feature films in movie theaters as it is today. When it came to television it was a lot cheaper to use the industrial 16mm film format used in schools, homes and corporations when it came to projecting films on television. It was also a lot cheaper sending 16mm Kinescopes, films and commercial reels by mail in this smaller format.


All the film movies shown were usually re-edited before airing with spots left in the film to insert commercials. It was usually the job of the stations film editor to splice commercials into the film prints before airing. This also opened up what would be known as “Spot Market” television advertising were the same copy of a commercial could be sent to different stations around the country to be included in various movies or run during live presentations.