The History Of Advertising

17th October 2018 in Branding Advice | Just for fun

The History Of Advertising

Advertising is a means of communication usually favoured by companies to communicate with consumers. Advertising uses every possible media to get its message through. From magazines and TV, to promotional products. These are all ways to inform or influence people who receive them. But where did this start? Lets take a closer look at the history of advertising:

The History of Advertising

The tradition of wall painting can be traced back to Indian rock art paintings that date back to 4000 BC. Fast forward to the Egyptians who used papyrus to make sales messages and wall posters. Commercial messages and political campaign displays have been found in the ruins of Pompeii and ancient Arabia. Lost and found advertising on papyrus was common in ancient Greece and ancient Rome.

In ancient China, the history of advertising can be traced back to the art of music and song. Bamboo flutes were often played to sell confectionery as well as taking its form in calligraphic signboards and inked papers. A copper printing plate dated back to the Song dynasty used to print posters in the form of a square sheet of paper with a rabbit logo with “Jinan Liu’s Fine Needle Shop” and “We buy high-quality steel rods and make fine-quality needles, to be ready for use at home in no time” written above and below is considered the world’s earliest identified printed advertising medium.

    A Coca-Cola advertisement from the 1890s

In Europe, as the towns and cities of the Middle Ages began to grow, and the general population was unable to read, instead of signs that read “cobbler”, “miller”, “tailor”, or “blacksmith”, images associated with their trade would be used such as a boot, a suit, a hat, a clock, a diamond, a horseshoe, a candle or even a bag of flour. Fruits and vegetables were sold in the city square from the backs of carts and wagons and their proprietors used street callers (town criers) to announce their whereabouts. The first compilation of such advertisements was gathered in “Les Crieries de Paris”, a thirteenth-century poem by Guillaume de la Villeneuve.

In the 18th century advertisements started to appear in weekly newspapers in England. These early print advertisements were used mainly to promote books and newspapers, which became increasingly affordable with advances in the printing press; and medicines, which were increasingly sought after. However, false advertising and so-called “quack” advertisements became a problem, which ushered in the regulation of advertising content.

Times have since changed, but one thing that hasn’t is the importance of advertising. Research shows the successful impact of advertising with branded merchandise. Most people who receive a personalised giveaway are reported to still have it on their desk, or in use for more than 2 years.

 

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