The History of Advertising


The History of Advertising

Mark Fenske famously called advertising the most powerful art form on earth, but how did it become so powerful and where did it all begin? Today we look at the history of advertising!

It’s widely accepted that the first ever advert was a bronze plate to market the Liu family’s needle shop during the Song Dynasty in China. It said: “We buy high quality steel rods and make fine quality needles, to be ready for use at home in no time.” Whatever your opinion on the copy, it launched a global industry and one that we’re proud to be a part of here at Lion Marketing.

Moving forward a few centuries to 1650 and we see the first advert appearing in a newspaper. The ad offered a reward to anyone who can find 12 horses that had gone missing. Today, the majority of newspaper’s revenue comes from advertising.

Billboard advertising came into paly in the late 1860s with the Wall Drug Company being the pioneers in establishing a nationwide advertising campaign through billboards. Billboards offered the chance for companies to reach a much wider audience that other types of media at the time and soon started popping up alongside roads across America and eventually the world.

The 20th century was the boom period of modern advertising since it saw the birth of three major (now everyday) types of media, namely radio, television and the Internet.

The first radio stations were established in the early 1920s. This was done by manufacturers and retailers of radio equipment who would offer programmes so that they could sell more radios. This practice quickly grew into a major business and the perfect platform for other companies to advertise their products and/or services. Even soap operas originated as radio programmes that were sponsored by soap companies in order to reach housewives, their main target market.

On the 1st of July 1941 at 2:29PM, the world’s first television commercial was aired right before a baseball game, sparking a revolution! Love them or hate them, television commercials are still one of the most powerful forms of advertising!

The digital age is now in full swing. Although the Internet had its origins in the late 1960s, it wasn’t until October 1994 that the first online banner ad appeared! Digital marketing is now a major industry in its own right with many companies opting to focus all their efforts in this area.

Whatever your thoughts, advertising is everywhere! Some find it incredibly annoying while others (like us) love seeing what creative ways businesses come up with to advertise their products and services. If you want to take your business to the next level, chat to us to create incredible advertising campaigns for you!