History of advertising

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However, despite this resistance, in less than two centuries, this mode of communication has flooded the media with slogans and images, invaded our geographic, sound and mental spaces. While advertising has been the subject of much research, few have taken up a historical perspective that would make it possible to understand how it has today become this “total social fact” essential to politicians as well as to business circles, to art as to public health.

The term “advertising” appeared in the 1630s, at the same time as the press, its main medium. It then designates the action of bringing to the attention of the public. Two hundred years later, it no longer means just an operation, carried out for commercial purposes, but a place in a publication, a short article inserted for consideration, to extol the merits of a product and to induce the recipient to the buy. Previously, since the corporate regime prohibited the development of competition in commercial relations, it was only a free service owned by the newspaper to the subscriber, not a service that the merchant was required to finance. It is, in fact, just one small ad among many, getting confused with real estate from notaries, marriage notices, promotions for new books and new shows. 5After 1789, paid to advertise became the rule, but the creation of a free market did not necessarily lead to the boom in advertising because the economic bases were still lacking: manufactured goods were scarce, and activities remained local. The real change came in 1827 when a postal law multiplied by two and a half the postage price of newspapers, leading the leaders to increase to the maximum authorized the format of the dailies, which went from two to three columns. This sharp increase in expenses and this substantial gain in space lead to the active search for paying advertisers. From then on, the beginnings of an organization appeared with the first brokers responsible for collecting “advertisements” from traders and manufacturers to be inserted in the press.

Advertising posters (1850 – 1920)
The commencement of the 20th century noticeable another turning point in the history of advertising. Advertising posters, increasingly collected, rise to the rank of works of art thanks.

New media at the service of advertising (1920 – 1950)
During the 20th century, the history of advertising was marked by the emergence of new media such as radio in 1922. The first commercials were broadcast there as early as 1928. With radio, advertising took on a musical dimension and associated for the first time an oral slogan and a visual. From then on, advertising became a crucial element of competitiveness, with large groups competing in creativity and budget to launch expensive advertising campaigns on radio and television.

Advertising today
Along with the diversification of distribution media, from early ads to current Internet banners, the history of advertising has seen the birth of new forms of advertising messages. Shockvertising, used, for example, by Road Safety campaigns, is thus based on the shocking aspect of the images in the advertisement. Moreover, since the 1970s, advertising has been a real cultural phenomenon, going so far as to inspire television shows such as Culture Pub and museums.

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