History of Advertising

Topics: Public relations, Advertising, Mass media Pages: 9 (3038 words) Published: May 17, 2010

The History of Advertising
“Advertising, a form of commercial mass communication designed to promote the sale of a product or service, or a message on behalf of an institution, organization, or candidate for political office.”

 In a primitive form, advertising has been around almost as long as Homo sapiens in a recognizably modern form. It has been around for almost 2500 years. Despite its venerable age it is still sprightly growing. Moreover there are good reasons to believe that its usefulness to consumer and therefore to economics, will keep on growing for another century or two at the very least. Even the dumbest futurologists would not try to predict further ahead than that, so I rest my case in advertising being a far larger and more important global industry in AD 2099 than in AD 1999 Advertising can be looked at from various perspectives. As the quote above states, its purpose is to increase the number of articles or products sold. These are not only things we can buy in different stores, for example clothing or supplies for our daily life, but also such simple things as a message placed by an institution or organization asking for attention of the public to raise money or to make them aware of a problem, such as anti-smoking ads. Even political parties use advertisements and commercials to state the opinion of their candidate. I think we have all experienced that quite extensively during the presidential campaign in the United States.  

Advertising became big business in the 20th century, offering many different jobs in advertising agencies and the marketing section. The use of the media, like newspapers, television, direct mail, radio, magazines, outdoor signs and of course the Internet made this growth possible. It is a form of transporting information to the consumer, but which does not only have positive sides. There are many critical aspect about it, like persuading people to doing unhealthy things, like smoking, or producing special stereotypes everybody tries to follow. Nevertheless, advertising has become international, since producers and companies try to sell their products on a globalized market in almost every corner of the world. It is therefore not surprising to see a big sign for Coca Cola in third world countries.  

19th and 20th Century Advertising
In the 19th century new technologies were developed and brand-new methods invented. As a result a surplus of production was formed. Warehouses of many factories were overflowing. In this way it was necessary to create useful advertisements, which would cover all large spaces, utilizing a large variety of mass media sources. The first advertising agent who created such a network was Volney Palmer. In 1841 he proclaimed himself as an advertising agent in Philadelphia and then created similar offices in Boston and New York. About 20% of the commission for media brokers was paid to the publishers. Texts of ads were offered by the head of the company or its representative. People who wanted to put their ads in the newspaper paid him a commission. Such activities became very popular during the second part of 19th century in all European countries.  

Significant advances in advertising development were made by American brokers. In the early 1850’s, John Wanamaker caused a revolution in the retail trade. He created a price lists for a variety of goods and returned the money if the commodity was not of the promised quality. As a result, he gained a lot of profit by using this strategy and he then opened a network of consumer goods shops. The reason of such great success was professional advertising. In 1880 businessmen employed the best creator of advertising texts – D. E. Powers. Powers started to develop...
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