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October 25, 2021

Television Will Tear Us Apart – 1968 Sony Personal Television Ad

The Sony Personal Television advertisement from the June 1968 issue of LIFE magazine points to the isolating characteristics of television, while using its post-fifties release date to bring this byproduct of TV to its natural extension.


The advertisement flirts between depicting a scene of a humorous, or uncanny nature, which is invoked by its pairing of the picture and accompanying tagline. The ad reappropriates an image of classic domesticity of a couple reading in bed by substituting their books for personal televisions, thus further normalizing of television’s presence in domestic life. The ad also portrays itself as a compromise since its depicted couple can humorously watch their respective shows without quarrel.

Yet, this advertisement cannot entirely defuse the concern that the personalized TV allows for its isolating nature to be accelerated. Sony attempts to mask this fact with humor to disarm this societal anxiety that began in the 1950s era.




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