We continue our series of commercial reels from the Paul Fennell Studios with another great reel of commercials from the early days of television. This batch features the Campbells Kids in a variety of themes from old West to pirates to Pilgrims. It may be a little off-putting to hear the same jingle over and over, but remember that these commercials were probably featured one at a time in a weekly television series, so original viewers wouldn’t be quite so overloaded with soup!
These commercials were directed by Paul Fennell and designed by Ed Benedict in the mid-1950s. At the end of the reel is a surprise- a full color Campbells Soup commercial that may very likely be the first color animated television commercial ever aired. The first color TV broadcast was in 1951, but the technology didn’t become prevalent until the early 1960s. Throughout the 1950s, broadcasters dabbled in color but in October of 1954, the anthology program “Ford Theater” became the first series to air in color. My educated guess is that the color Campbells commercial was produced to air with that series.