When Was Advertising Born? | roxana_ac

When Was Advertising Born?

What is advertising? And when was the idea of advertising a product or a concept born?


At this point, for all of us, advertising is a daily occurrence, so present and constant in our lives that we no longer even ask ourselves why and since when it exists. But when was advertising born? The answer is quite surprising.

What is Advertising?

The term advertising refers to the set of all means and methods used in order to inform of existence and make the facts known.

According to Wikipedia, "Advertising is a marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea."

That is to say, any form of communication intended to promote the sale of goods or the provision of services by an economic operator: "Dissemination of news or announcements of a commercial nature to attract potential buyers, viewers, users"

There are many forms of advertising, not only of a commercial nature, for example, there is social interest, with useful information for all citizens, or even political and religious, in which the objective is to obtain adherence to a system ideological but has advertising always been as we know it today?

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It Already Existed in Ancient Times

Many centuries ago advertising was not as we understand it today. Its function was mainly information to publicize the existence of a product. Despite this, in ancient times there was a form of advertising similar to ours, which, however, as there are no mass media today, was limited to the place where it was carried out or a little more.

For example, in Pompeii and Ostia, on some walls, writings were found inviting citizens to vote for such a candidate in political elections. In Pompeii, too, signs were found in front of a fabric store praising the quality of that store's work. There are examples of this type of advertising, whose main vehicle is word of mouth among people, in the main ancient civilizations. A painting dating from around 1000 BC was discovered in Thebes. C. offering a gold nugget to anyone who has captured a runaway slave. But, as I have said, there were no newspapers, no TV, no Internet, no press.

With The Invention Of The Press, Advertising Grows

In 1450, Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. From then on, any text could be mechanically replicated and copied. Shortly after in England, exactly in 1479, the typographer (new profession, born precisely with the invention of the printing press) William Caxton printed a pamphlet in many copies in which he advertised his publications. The first "flyers" began to circulate, a bit like the ones we find today in supermarkets and shops and often in our mailbox.

Advertisements appeared in newspapers: the first dates back to 1525 in a German newspaper. In 1630 in France, the first office and the first gazette were born to publish paid advertisements, an initiative imitated in 1650 in England with the Mercurius politicus. The first newspaper entirely devoted to commercial advertising was founded in the mid-18th century in France: it was called Le petit affiche.

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Modern Advertising

We will have to wait until the second half of the eighteenth century to begin to see how advertising crosses the borders of the countries of origin and becomes a widespread phenomenon throughout the world. This happened thanks to the Industrial Revolution, through which technological inventions a wide and widespread dissemination of commercial messages was achieved. 

From time to time, with a few years of difference, technological means were created that provided more and more tools to develop advertising: from color printing to photography, from constant advertisements in newspapers and magazines to modern postal services and illuminated signs. Commercial and economic advertisements in newspapers became very numerous, and posters and billboards made their debut, often by great artists, such as Toulouse-Lautrec and, later, de Chirico and others.


In 1904 the Lumière brothers, inventors of cinema, projected, before their short film, an advertisement for a bottle of French champagne. In 1925 the first treatise on advertising techniques was published, which explains the five basic steps of an advertising message:

1. It must be seen

2. It must be read

3. It must be believed

4. It must be remembered

5. It must persuade the consumer to buy a certain product.


In 1928 the first radio advertisements appeared, while in 1953, in the United States, the announcement reached the newly born television, something that has remained in time until our days with current television that in fact «lives» practically from what that advertisers pay to advertise. Finally, in recent years, the power of advertising has become incredible through the use of the Internet and social media.

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4 Advertising Tricks That All Brands Use

1. When we see the Coca-Cola ads, we see them bubbly and appetizing. How do they do that? As simple as adding some kind of effervescent medicine. This makes us want to drink it, mostly during summer.

2. Some products also cheat, or use tricks, when they add nicknames to products such as 'artisan' or 'handmade'. Usually, they don't have anything about artisans and, if they have legal problems due to false advertising, they change the name to another language and that's it.

3. Have you noticed the ads for clocks that always show 10:10? It is true, and it is done because in this way the clockwise creates a kind of smile, so that, without being very explicit, they make us look more likable.

4. There is also a lot of play with color. For example, for advertising cleaning products, blue and white are the most suitable. For extreme sensations, red, to generate a good atmosphere, green... And so with all the tones.

Did you imagine that advertising and brands do all this? Remember, they do not leave a single detail to chance.


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