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Evolution of Advertising

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Topics: Advertising
Evolution of Advertising | | | | | Amrit Keyal | | |

Introduction

The first advertisement may have been a sign painted on a wall of a building. The early outdoor-advertising competitors were town criers employed by merchants to praise their goods. It was Gutenberg’s invention of the moveable-type printing press in 1450 that resulted in the mass production of posters and circulars.
The first advertisement printed in English was a handbill printed in 1472. It was primarily an announcement of a prayer book for sale. Two hundred years later, the first newspaper ad appeared offering a reward for finding 12 stolen horses. By the 17th century, classified ads were appearing frequently in England’s newsweeklies. These ads featured simple descriptions of products and their prices. Illustrations and colour appeared in advertisements in the late 19th century.
The first advertising agency, which was set up by Volney Palmer in Boston in 1841, introduced the commission system to the business by offering a discount of 25% on ad space in newspapers. This move marked the formal beginning of space selling. Initially, most ad agencies were nothing more than brokers for ad space in newspapers. Advertisers created their own ads. N.W. Ayer & Son became the first full-service agency in 1869. By 1861 there were 20 advertising agencies in New York City alone. Among them was J. Walter Thompson, today the oldest American advertising agency in continuous existence. Radio became a commercial medium in the 1920s.
One of the earliest highly successful advertising campaigns was launched by Pears Soap. In the late 19th century, Thomas Barratt, whom many consider the father of modern advertising, launched a series of ads featuring children, animals, flowers, and beautiful women to promote the company’s products.

Propaganda and Mechanization
During World War I, advertising became a medium for propaganda. Governments used advertising to persuade their citizens to join the military. This period also saw increased mechanization of the industry, making ads more costly.
The Emergence of New Mass Media
When new mass media—radio and cinema—became commercially available in the first part of the 20th century, the advertising industry quickly took advantage of their reach, spread, and popularity. This period of prosperity came to an end with the Wall Street crash of 1929, followed by the Great Depression and World War II.
Initially, a single business would sponsor a radio program for a brief mention of its name. Later, sponsorship rights for a show were sold to multiple businesses, a practice that soon became the norm.

Television
The market did not embrace television initially because of the high cost of TV sets and the lack of programming. However, as the American economy improved in the 1950s, television’s popularity surpassed that of radio. Soon, the industry considered it the number-one medium for advertising. With the establishment of the DuMont Television Network, the modern trend of selling advertising time to multiple sponsors became a permanent feature of the commercial television industry in the U.S.
The effect of the television on the advertising industry and the way products were sold was remarkable. Advertising agencies not only had to learn how to produce these mini movies in units of 30 and 60 seconds, they had to learn to effectively segment the audience and deliver the right commercial message to the right group of consumers.
Cable television was the next great innovation, offering a greater variety of channels with more specific program offerings. That allowed advertisers to narrowcast. Before the advent of cable television, the networks attempted to reach demographics by airing at different times throughout the broadcast period. Soap operas were broadcast during the day to reach women, news in the evening to reach an older target audience.
The Advertising Revolution
The industry became more scientific in the 1960s. This period witnessed some of the most creative ads of all time. Instead of focusing on the product, ads endeavoured to strengthen the brand and create an image for the company. Advertising also became subtler and more intelligent, often adopting a conversational style.
Advertising also turned into a major industry in the 20th century. The advertising of the age cleverly used all media, including newspapers, television, direct mail, radio, magazines, outdoor signs, and, of course, the Internet.
Contemporary Advertising Remote controls in the hands of every spectator and access to hundreds of cable channels mean that advertising must generate interest and entertain in order to survive. Along with these challenges, there are also new frontiers such as Internet marketing. Advertisers and agencies today see innovations like digital ads and interactive advertising as challenges and opportunities rather than obstacles. The Future of Advertising
It is difficult to predict what form advertising will take in the future. But one thing is sure; it will continue to improve and strive to become more useful to business and to the consumer.
Traditional advertising has become relatively ineffective since the inception of the Internet, and although there have been many forms of Internet advertising that have provided some good effect in the past, the New Evolution of Advertising exists in Social Media Marketing and Content Syndication.
An advertising company is a potentially very successful and enjoyable business, but only if done correctly. Advertising promotion is older form. There are four very influential inventions that have shaped the media and thus the advertising industry - the printing press, radio, television and the Internet. The printing press made the wide dissemination of information with words on paper possible, mainly advertisements in newspapers and magazines. Selling material had to be created and advertising agencies were born.

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