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Our History

In 1885, long before anyone talks about carbon footprints or climate change, Warren Johnson launches a company to explore new ways to harness and conserve precious energy resources. In doing so, he also launches a tradition of customer-focused innovation—a tradition that has inspired thousands of employees for more than 130 years and that continues to drive the success of Johnson Controls. Even before he founds the firm now known as Johnson Controls, Warren Johnson is the quintessential inventor. His pneumatic tower clocks, electric storage batteries, wireless telegraph business and steam-powered luxury cars and postal service trucks anticipate—and shape—the future.

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This Month in History
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Johnson Controls Super Bowl XX television commercials, January 26, 1986
Johnson Controls purchased time for two company commercials to air during Super Bowl XX, which took place on January 26, 1986. The ads ran during the first and second quarters of the game. One ad featured the company's lighting and control system for the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans where the game was played. Johnson Controls' hot air balloon "Performance 1" played a prominent role in both commercials. The company, which advertised on television for the first time during the 1984 Summer Olympics, would go on to run the ads during Super Bowl XXI in 1987. While the commercials were aimed at potential customers for the company's building control systems and services, they also served to heighten the public's recognition of a company that had traditionally kept a relatively low public profile. Pre- and post-event surveys showed that Super Bowl XX advertising boosted awareness of the company name by 17%. Of those surveyed, awareness of the company name rose from 46% prior to the 1984 Summer Olympics commercials to 63% following Super Bowl XX. By the way, Super Bowl XX was won by the Chicago Bears, 46-10, over the New England Patriots.