Advertising is the art of getting someone’s attention. That is not just a trademarked saying that gets parroted from generation to generation. The fact of the matter is it is the truth and history proves it. The most important knowledge you will get out of this research is that the art of Advertising at its’ core is getting across a message to your reader, or customer, that is honest and straight to the point.
Advertising has undergone many changes, from ancient Chinese candymakers, to Egyptian etchings and print ads of the golden age to today where targeted and personalized online ads is one of the many ways to succeed in today’s marketplace. The development of advertising has experienced several important milestones and having to adapt to new and different media is remarkably interesting to study.
THE HISTORY OF ADVERTISING
Merchants and governments would seal products and official documents with a trademark, logo, emblem, coat of arms, etc. For merchants, the reason to mark product was for advertising and branding. For the government, branding official documents was an exercise in authority and security. In modern times, branding is the exercise of establishing logo and name recognition.
Ancient Egyptians etch public notices in steel. This is where we get the modern use of signs and banners.
China’s oldest collection of poetry comprising of 305 works is entitled “Classic of Poetry” (詩; pinyin: Shī, Shijing which is translated to Book of Odes, Book of Poetry or Book of Songs). The works are associated with Confucianism and the first handwritten poem is by the Qianlong Emperor. In one of the 305 poems is a depiction of Candymakers playing bamboo flutes to get the attention of people passing by. Once the candymakers caught the attention of someone they would attempt to sell them candy or confections. If you think about it, shops, ice cream trucks and food vendors also have some form of music blasting from their store or vehicle.
Everyone knows the incredibly fast-talking man auctioning off goods in the middle of downtown. Well, the popular fast-talking auctioneer is historically known as a “town crier”. A town crier was someone who would not only auction off goods but attempted at getting people to go to a certain business or destination. Does “travel agent” ring a bell anyone?
400 – 500 AD
The next time you see someone dressed as the Statue of Liberty flipping around a street sign saying “Get Your Tax Refund and TURN RIGHT”; its’ origin comes from the Romans. That is right, businesses in the Roman Empire made street advertising what it is today. There was hardly a city or town in that time that did not have signs plastered, town criers, music and salesman all over the place.
Every business had a sign, or signs, and the first idea of AirBNB.com was created. Homes had their own coat of arms, or form of advertising, since there was no such thing as house numbers. Homeowners would put out a sign letting travelers know that there was a room available for a night or two while they were out of town. Innkeepers, or bars, would hang a red lion out in front of their business to let people know that inside was “Good Entertainment”.
The Liu family sold needles. Lots, and lots of needles. The Liu family sold so many needles they purchased a block of bronze medal and at an etcher engrave the following advertisement: “Jinana Liu’s Fine Needle Shop: we buy high quality steel rods and make find quality needs, to be ready for use at home in no time.” That metal block was probably used to print Jinana Liu’s advertisement for generations. In fact, it is said that the needle is what created the business of Embroidery.
Printing press technology is created. The man who created the printing press is William Caxton. He printed the first book advertisement in his shop located in Westminister Abbey. The book advertisement informed the Church that copies of a manual entitled “Pye” or “Sarum Ordinal” was for sale at a cheap price. It was a manual for Priests about variations in the Office during the ecclesiastical year.
US President Benjamin Franklin was the publisher of the Pennsylvania Gazette in Philadelphia. In his newspaper he had a part devoted to classifieds and advertisements. Advertisements back then were so honest that they were hard to read.
Emile de Girardin, a French journalist, politician, and publisher, founded La Presse on 16 June 1836, the first newspaper to lower its subscription fees for its readers by subsidizing their subscription for advertising.
The first American advertising agency was founded by Robert Palmer, son of a newspaper publisher and coal entrepreneur who considered himself an advertising agent. Palmer’s main contribution to the emergence of the newspaper advertising market was to create large areas for ads and resell them at high speed to professional advertisers, as the competition got tougher from year to year.
Volney Palmer opens America’s first advertising and design agency.
You ever read an article, podcast or video that was interesting and newsworthy – and right at the end they were trying to sale you something? This is what we call an infomercial. New York Radio Station WEAF did a 10-minute news broadcast and sales pitch for apartments in Queens. Historians note that after the commercials success, it became the new business model for radio.
In America, it was illegal to run a TV advertisement. On July 1, 1941 the Federal Communications Commission gave NBC a license to run the first ever TV commercial on 10 stations. The advertisement was an image of the country of the USA and overlaid a watch with the logo of the Beluva Watch Company. The voiceover says “America runs on Beluva Time”.
Beluva took the revolutionary opportunity to use new advertising technology back in 1941 and to this day they remain one of the best luxury watches in the market while so many other watch manufacturers have gone out of business.
Car-D-Cal was the first vinyl cosmetic technology used on vehicles. The vinyl wrap was applied over the exterior metal of the vehicle (doors and roof) and changed the appearance of the automobile (polka dots or plaid).
All things new, remain the same. One of the earlier forms of advertising were signs and banners. Well, when the internet first came on the scene there was a company called HotWired.com
HotWired.com was the internet’s first online magazine. To pay their writers they sold advertising banners on their website. AT&T paid HotWired.com $30,000 to place an advertisement that said “Have you ever clicked your mouse right here? You will.” HotWired.com had MCI, Volvo, Club Med, 1-800-Collect and Zima also purchasing advertising banners.
DID YOU KNOW?
One of the most effective forms of advertising was developed over 4,000-years ago and it still works better than ever, today. Egyptians would carve out large metal notices and place the signs downtown and in populated areas for everyone to see. Billboards has been an effective form of advertising.
Fast forward to today. Maricopa Country drivers spend nearly thirty-three minutes (33-minutes) a day in their car (average of stats pulled from geostat).
ADVERTISE WHILE YOU DRIVE
If you are a small business owner, the benefit of a branding your vehicle far outweighs the possible risks.
A&M Graphics and Great Embroidery are here for your small and large business advertising needs.
Less than 1-cent per impression.