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SOCIO 2172A - Lecture 2: History of Advertising

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Sociology 2172A/B
Gale Cassidy

HISTORY OF ADVERTISING – According to Singer (1994) advertising is... A key element in economic history as well as our social, technological, artistic, and cultural histories... [and] perhaps one of the keys to the understanding of the evolution of our complex urban society. 1. Preliterate Period: 3000-400 BC • 1200 BC: Venetians painted or carved messages on stones ◦ there was no writing or literacy as we know it ◦ they would communicate using symbols ◦ mostly biblical messages • 6 Century BC: town criers ◦ oral advertising ◦ would be sent out to make messages ◦ dress in a way that would draw attention to themselves, carry a bell and ring it, and announce their message ◦ sometimes carried sign boards with a message on it ◦ advantages – able to reach large audiences, portable ▪ would pick someone with a loud voice and was persuasive ◦ first state sanctioned form of advertising ◦ throughout history, town criers have been the most common form of advertising ◦ disadvantages – if weather was bad it wouldn't be good ▪ if the town crier was in a bad mood, or just didn't show up 2. Classical Period: 400 BC – 100 AD • slightly more move towards literacy • street advertising ◦ important events or services, contests, religious festivals, etc ◦ personal “classified” advertising was common as well 3. Middle Ages • literacy level still remained low, but more people learning how to read • creation of trademarks ◦ people starting to advertise products 4. Late Middle Ages: 1400 – 1600 • start to have pamphlets and brochures because more people are learning to read th • first published in the 17 century • advertising for people to come to the new world ◦ brochures were full of hopeful statements, half-truths, down right lies • the key to civilization was the printing press ◦ created by Gutenberg, 1450 • literacy and the poster ◦ 1480 was the first poster – a rule book for priests ◦ handbills (brochures/pamphlets) • more people who can read and write (certain groups of people – ex. Nobility) • wanted to advertise new businesses 5. Early Mass Media Period: 1600 – 1900 • periodicals ◦ publication that is produced at regular intervals ◦ ex. newspapers, yearbooks, magazines, etc ◦ Gestany is first place that we have with periodicals ◦ 1 known newspaper ad – book about plants ◦ then ads for universities, zoos & religious tracts ◦ primarily classified & personal ads • problematic – a lot of ads for products that didn't do what they said they did ◦ false advertisement ◦ started to have rules put in place for advertisements ◦ ex. The Health Jolting Chair • in Canada in 1752 ◦ 1 newspaper ad in Halifax Gazette INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION • location & service ads vs. Product advertising • start to see mass production of products that didn't exist before • products became available to poorer people that were once only available to the rich • now have a surplus of products • Lead 3 eras in advertising: ◦ Product Oriented ▪ demand and supply ◦ Sales Orientated ▪ figure out how to sell ◦ Marketing Oriented ▪ must advertise differently for the super surplus 6. 20 Century Mass Media: 1900 – 1920 • more urban population, cities started to develop • the Great Transition ◦ turn of the century ◦ 3 key things that happened: ▪ better and fast printing (more variety) ▪ appearance of a brand name – really
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