Before the influx of cable with it's plethora of networks and the internet with it's billions of sites and thousands of video launching platforms that have served to create a seemingly infinite number of niche markets, there was The Toast of the Town hosted by Ed Sullivan. Later it became known as simply The Ed Sullivan Show and it served as the YouTube of its day. New music acts, comedy acts, poodles, elephants, spinning plates and Topo Gigio were served up on a weekly basis.
And as such things went back then they often advertised within the show. Rather than cut to a filmed commercial done by an advertising company the host would stroll over to the product and hawk it himself. What can I say, they were a hard working generation. Usually at the halfway point the company would have a filmed commercial show up as well but the popular host shilling for them was their bread and butter. And being corporations with eyes fixed on the bottom line they knew how to exploit it. So here's a 1955 magazine ad where the ad photo is a photo of Ed selling the car on the show (And what a car! Gas mileage be damned I want that thing!). Kind of an ad of an ad. Helping shill for Ford is a lovely lady who appeared with Ed on Toast of the Town many times, always going on about those damn cars. She is credited with being the first household name ever for a spokesperson, though she's not exactly famous in the movie world. Truth be told, I only know of her from my constant reading up on such cultural minutia as this, not from direct viewing experience. I have seen her in her biggest movie appearance, but she's not the star. Well, I think I've played it down enough - Anyone care to guess who it is (or madly google for the answer)?
***** You can click the photo to enlarge, but I've blacked out the name. *****