Origin and Growth of Advertising

4 April 2017

The history of advertising dates back to the early days of human civilization. The evolution or growth of advertising can be briefly stated as follows: Early Forms of Advertising: Three forms of advertising existed during the pre-printing period, i. e. before 15th century. The three forms are as follows: a) Trade Marks: In olden days, artisans used to inscribe on their goods such as pots, wooden tools, etc. , certain marks such a stars, moon, tiger, etc. Such marks came to be regarded as trade marks.

The trademark was treated as a form of advertising because the reputation of a particular trademark spread by word of mouth. The buyer used to look for such marks before buying the product or tools at the village fairs or such other places. b) Town Criers: Prior to 15th centaury, shopkeepers and other sellers appointed town criers to popularize their stores and products. The town crier wore clowny cloths and played a musical instrument such as drum or a flute and attracted the attention of the people at the village fairs, bazaars etc.

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he town crier used to offer samples and praise the shop and the product soled by the shops. Town crier were treated as a form of advertising as they attracted the attention of t5he people and also induced or persuaded the people to buy the products popularized by them. c) Sign Boards: Signs or signboards have been in use for over 5000 years. In those days, sellers used to paint signs on the rocks or boards about their goods. People were attracted by those signs and purchased the product popularized by the signs or signboards. For e. g. , a sign of cow was used for dairy products, row of ham for butcher’s shop etc.

Birth of Printing Press: In 1438, Johan Gutenberg invented the crude form of printing press. This made possible the printed advertisements in the following forms: a) Hand Mills: In 1477, William Caxton from London brought out the first ever-printed advertisement in the form of a hand mill. The advertisement was for a religious book. b) Newspaper Advertisement: The Gutenberg invention made possible the printing of a newspaper. The first newspaper came into existence in Germany around 1520, and the first newspaper ad was published in about 1525 in Germany for a book.

The first printed English newspaper appeared in 1622 called “The Weekly News of London”, and the first ad in an English newspaper appeared in 1625 for a book. c) Magazine Advertising: Magazines were first published in the early 1700s, how ever, advertising in magazines gain reorganization only around 1870. In those days, most of the advertisements were in the form of posters/ handbills and in newspapers. 3. Birth of Advertising Agency: In 1840 Volney Bpalmer started the first advertising agency in America at Philadelphia. In those days, ad agencies used to act as “salesmen of space”.

They used to sell space in newspapers and magazines on behalf of publishers to the advertisers. They used to get 25% commission for such services. The real advertising work such as copywriting art-work etc, by the ad agencies began in the early 20th century. 4. Radio Advertising: Marconi invented the radio. The radio was introduced to the public in the early 1920s. The first radio advertisement was aired in 1922 for “Eveready Batteries” in America. Because of the invention of radio, it was made possible to advertise to the illiterates.

The music and sound effects of radio advertising gave a new meaning to the field of advertising. 5. Television advertising: in 1930s John L. Baird invented the commercially viable television. It was the most impressive medium of all times. The television advertising combined the effect of voice and vision, music and motion. The first commercial appeared in 1949 in USA. In India, the first TV commercial appeared on Jan. 1, 1976. 6. Other Forms: In this present century several other forms of advertising came into existence. it includes neon-signs, video, sky writing, billboards, yellow pages, direct mail, etc. . Growth of Advertising Organizations: Several advertising organizations came into existence during the 20th century. These include Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) in 1914 in America and later on in other countries including India; Advertising Agencies Association of America (AAAA) in 1945. These organization gave an added impetus to the progress of advertising throughout the world. 8. Internet: An interesting form of advertising in the late 1990s is the Internet. Internet can be called as electronic yellow pages. Companies open a website wherein they provide information about the company and the product.

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