When I think advertising, I think sitting through a half hour of trailers before the actual movie starts (boring), Super Bowl commercials (not so boring), and Mad Men reruns (nice). Advertising’s been around for centuries, long before Don Draper and the rest of his advertising firm?
In fact, the first instance of advertising was utilized in 2000 B.C. by the Egyptians. I was well aware that they had some technologically advanced goods for their time, but had never considered that these goods might need to be advertised. Jump thousands of years, and ancient Romans are advertising for “gladiatorial games.”
Getting into the 19th century, women were already being objectified, this time by cigarette boxes? This was the same century that the father of advertising, Thomas Barratt, made a name for himself, and Coca Cola made their debut. The 20th century will be known for their utilization of psychology for advertising (mind control?), giant billboards, the first TV commercials, branding, and of course, World War II propaganda. Online advertising first occurred in the 1980s, as well, but it wasn’t until 2006 that it surpassed the power of press media. Sorry, Don.
As of 2016, advertising was worth 600 billion dollars a year. In the future, I think it would be worth noting the impact of advertising on political campaigns, as well. Whether you love advertisements or hate them, they have been around forever, transformed the world of consumerism as we know it and are here to stay.