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The History of Advertising: How Past Advertising Examples Affects Modern Advertising

Everywhere you look, there’s an ad. From the logo on the t-shirt you’re wearing, to the brand name on the coffee cup you’re sipping from, advertising is inescapable.

You might not even know it when you see it! 

To understand the significance of today’s advertising strategies, it’s important to take a look back at our past. Keep reading for a brief synopsis on the history of advertising and see just how much — and how little — has changed. 

Ancient Ads 

Advertising is a lot older than you might think. The earliest ads date back all the way to 3000 BC! 

In 2012, archaeologists uncovered advertisements for shops and churches chiseled into obelisks, as well as pieces of papyrus that served as means of recruitment. 

What’s more, these ads aren’t all that dissimilar to the advertisements we see daily. Though they’re simple in comparison, these old ads share a few interesting traits with modern ads. 

First, they often relied on drawings and illustrations to add visual flair. 

They’d also rely on quick, snappy bits of text to get their point across. These may as well have been the world’s first slogans! 

Industrial Ingenuity 

Fast forward a few centuries to the Industrial Revolution, when education became more attainable and literacy was on the rise. 

Print advertising became an affordable and increasingly effective way to spread the word about a company’s latest offerings. As such, companies started to experiment with widespread marketing campaigns, namely through newspapers. 

Because of growing interest in the advertising world, savvy marketers began to band together, forming some of the first ad agencies. 

Modern Marketing 

When looking at today’s marketing, we can’t ignore the vast power of the radio. For years, radio programs were the preferred entertainment for many families. 

As a result, marketing agencies saw radio listeners as a captive and engaged audience. 

Around this time, we start to see many aspects of advertising we still see today. Things like catchy jingles, powerful voice-overs, and taglines all played integral roles during this time. 

When televisions started to become more affordable, the game changed once more. Advertisers had to think in visual terms, and marketing took on a distinct ‘show, don’t tell’ mentality. 

Then, of course, there’s the Internet. Everywhere you look on the Internet, from your email to your Facebook page, you’re sure to find an ad. 

So what’s changed? 

Well, advertisers now go directly to the consumer. 

Think back to the Egyptian ads mentioned a moment ago. They weren’t much more than a basic description of the product. And if you didn’t happen to be in the area an ad was posted, you’d go your whole life without seeing it. 

The ads we engage with on a daily basis are targeted to our specific interests using highly specified data. It’s less passive and more active. 

The History of Advertising Is the History of Us 

The history of advertising is a fascinating one, and it’s amazing to see some of the similarities between the ads we see today and those we’d see centuries ago. 

As advertising became more complex, so did we. And advertising will only continue to develop. 

Wouldn’t it be nice to get ahead of the curve? Get in touch today and ask about how AlliedOne Marketing can use the hottest up and coming marketing strategies to grow your business.

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