Advertising on Television has existed since July 1st 1941, that's quite a while.
Around that time, Bulova, the watch brand, paid a 'hefty' $9 to advertise their company at the top of the broadcast of a game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Philidelphia Phillies on New York's WNBT. Titled, "America runs on Bulova time", it was primitive to say the least. Over the course of the next 20 years, though, television ads would evolve dramatically.
Ads were pretty much the same since that time i.e.: miniature product pitches done in creative ways all throughout the 60s, 70s and 80's. However, the arrival of what they called 'Generation X' – AKA 'America's forgotten middle child' – changed things. GenX were not about consumerism at all, they were not buying sales pitches and so advertising had to adapt.
This resulted in the 90s being filled with a new kind of advertising, one that featured artsy, abstract adverts that sometimes barely mentions the product at all. This meant that some of the ads ended up being very weird, sometimes to the point of downright disturbing.
See four of the most disturbing ads from the 90s below.