Some products are advertised on television, and then have print ads stating “As Seen on TV.” The “As seen on TV” line was used in advertising by at least 1950, when camera shops advertised the Polaroid Land Camera. There are several trademarks for “As Seen on TV,” with the words sometimes shaped as if inside a television set.
Philip Kives (1929-2010), founder of the K-Tel company, advertised heavily on television and used “As Seen on TV” as a catchphrase. K-Tel’s “Veg-O-Matic” was advertised “As Seen on TV” in 1963, but Kives and K-Tel did not coin the phrase.
“For Sale: a thick layer of dust. As seen on TV” is a joke on the popular catchphrase.
Wikipedia: As seen on TV
As Seen On TV is a generic nameplate for products advertised on television in the United States for direct-response mail-order through a toll-free telephone number. As Seen On TV advertisements, known as infomercials, are usually 30-minute shows or two-minute spots during commercial breaks. These products can range from kitchen, household, automotive, cleaning, health, and beauty products, to exercise and fitness products, books, or to toys and games for children. Typically the packaging for these items includes a standardized red seal in the shape of a CRT television screen with the words “AS SEEN ON TV” in white, an intentional allusion to the logo of TV Guide magazine.
Prominent marketers of As Seen On TV products include As Seen On TV, Inc., Time-Life, Space Bag, K-tel, Ronco, and Thane. There are also retail brick-and-mortar and online stores that specifically sell As Seen On TV products.
Wikipedia: Philip Kies
Philip Kives (12 February 1929 – 28 April 2016) was a Winnipeg business executive and innovative marketing genius. He is a rags to riches story, about a Jewish farm boy from Saskatchewan, who emerged as a promotional wizard and dominated markets around the world. A dynamic entrepreneur, he is best known for founding K-tel, famous for such gadgets as the Miracle Brush, Feather Touch Knife, Veg-O-Matics, compilation record albums and its “As seen on TV” advertisements. Kives reputedly coined the catchphrase “As Seen On TV.” Kives is a natural born salesman and promotional genius who utilized low-budget television commercials to sell millions of products and build a business empire.
12 May 1950, Boston (MA) Daily GLobe, pg. 33, col. 1 ad:
As seen on TV
(Salem St. Photo Supply.—ed.)
24 May 1950, Cleveland (OH) Plain Dealer, pg. 28, col. 1 ad:
As seen on TV
4 June 1950, Boston (MA) Sunday Herald, pg. 79, col. 4 ad:
As seen on TV
(Gelotte Camera Stores.—ed.)
13 December 1951, Milwaukee (WI) Journal, pg. 1M col. 1 ad:
CHARLES ANTELL FORMULA No. 9 SHAMPOO
AS HEARD ON RADIO
AS SEEN ON TV
27 February 1963, State-Times (Baton Rouge, LA), pg. 9-C, col. 4 ad:
as seen on TV
2 May 1963, Ogden (UT) Standard-Examiner,pg. 7C, col. 1 ad:
AS SEEN ON TV
(Grand Central Stores.—ed.)
4 November 1963, Chicago (IL) Tribune, pg. 17, col. 1 ad:
As Seen on TV
10 November 1976, Hartford (CT) Courant, pg. 52, col. 1 ad:
K-Tel E-Z Tracer Game
As seen on TV!
(King’s department store.—ed.)
OCLC WorldCat record
As seen on TV : the K-Tel story.
Author: Cam Bennett; Kevin Dunn; Danielle Audette; Dave Thomas; Tenor 20 Productions Inc.; All authors
Publisher: Canada : Tenor 20 Productions Inc., 2006.
Edition/Format: DVD video : PAL color broadcast system : English
Long before there was Richard Branson, there was Phillip Kives. Mr Kives had a knack for selling things to the common man, the “bingo player” as he referred to them in the 60s. Combining ingenious inventions, a whole lot of plastic and the ultimate hard sell, his company K-Tel rewrote the rules of advertising and went on to become one of the largest, loudest marketing success stories the world has ever known. This documentary tells the incredible rise, fall and eventual resurrection of the company responsible for creating products such as the “The Miracle Brush,” “Record Selector,” and the “Patty Stacker.”
Washington (DC) Post
Phil Kives, K-Tel pitchman ‘As Seen on TV’ who got America ‘Hooked on Classics,’ dies at 87
By Matt Schudel April 28, 2016
In 1962, Phil Kives went on television, doing a live, five-minute demonstration of a skillet. He fried an egg, and when he was done, the egg slid right out of the pan, thanks to a new nonstick surface called Teflon.
Considered one of the first infomercials in history, it caused customers to flock to stores by the thousands, and it made Mr. Kives (pronounced KEE-vuss) a marketing trendsetter. In time, he would launch a company that became a mainstay of television advertising, pitching hundreds of products in kitschy commercials that developed a cult following for their loud, relentless style.
In touting one miraculous product after another, Mr. Kives reputedly coined the catchphrase “As Seen on TV,”