This essay "The history of advertising" outlines the changes in the advertisement in course of times and its future. Advertising today is totally integrated with the term marketing, that it has become an activity similar to mass selling. In this respect it has to be distinguished from other activities intended to persuade the public, like propaganda, publicity and public relations. The techniques of advertising range in complexity from the publishing of simple notices in the classified-advertising columns of newspapers to the integrated marketing communications, involving the concerned use of advertising in newspapers, magazines, television and radio and on the internet as well as direct response, sales promotion and other communications vehicles in the course of a single campaign. From its humble beginnings in the ancient times, advertising had grown into a worldwide industry, with billions of dollars spent every year to influence the purchase of products and services.
New age advertising
Advertising has also changed not only in spending but by its nature, scope and components over the years. The channels (media), research, techniques of persuasion, industry structure, economic and social effects and regulation are the factors that have contributed to its change over the years. Today advertising messages are disseminated through numerous channels. The television, newspapers, direct mail, radio, yellow pages, magazines, business publications, outdoor advertising and farm publications were the traditional channels.
But miscellaneous media such as window displays, free shopping news publications, calendars, blimps, sky writing by airplanes, sandwich boards carried by people walking the streets, delivery trucks painted with product messages, wrapping paper and shopping bags etc are employed to reach the advertisements to the potential buyers. The new information age has contributed the advertising industry with its new channels like the internet, gleaming with pop-up messages and e-mail alerts; the mobile phones with the SMS messages and the net savvy gadgets that download the entertainment along with the ad promos.
Research is another factor that has contributed to the growth of the sector. It was only possible to approximate the effectiveness of various advertising a century ago. Today prospective advertisers were guided almost solely by estimates of magazine and newspaper readership. Advertising and market research has become so much sophisticated that advertisers and agencies frequently conduct extensive and expensive surveys to determine the potential acceptance of products or services before they are advertised nationally at costs that may amount to millions of dollars.
Techniques of persuasion has also changed, most of them circumscribed only by the ingenuity of the creative mind, the limits of various channels of communication, by certain legal restrictions and by the standards self imposed by the industry. Modern advertising employs an astonishing variety of persuaders. Among these are humorous and entertaining television and radio commercials, appeals to the sense of smell by use of perfumed ink on paper, endorsements of products by celebrities, appeals to parents to give their children a better life and future, appeals to children to 'ask mommy' to buy certain break fast cereals and the controversial use of 'scare copy'.
The advertising industry has also changed. Today we see a great transition from the old space brokerage to the new age big-budget