Radio: The TV Pitchmen

Sometimes the message comes from a waddling polar bear, sometimes from a skating penguin, a magic rabbit or a talking dog. Sometimes it comes in a display of hurtling rockets, spinning alphabets or galaxies of exploding stars. If the pitch is entrusted to a human, there is always the smile — broad, ecstatic, spreading from one side of the screen to the other as it expresses satisfaction over a cigarette, a glass of beer, a bright new refrigerator.

Compared with radio, which in a quarter-century of broadcasting never got beyond the singing commercial, TV...

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