What comes to mind when you think of the word - advertising?
Do you think of billboards strategically posted along the highway? Those ads on the sides of the local bus? What about the banner ads on your favourite website? Do those large posters within the subway stations come to mind? What about those extremely entertaining Super Bowl advertisements?
To put it into perspective, many of us have a pretty good idea of what advertising should look, sound and feel like but we often struggle to pin down exactly is how to execute that vision - while trying to do it well.
Advertising has definitely changed with the times. from the good ole printing press to pop-up ads the intent is still the same! Put many like-minded eyes on the product and convert them via your sales funnel. However, know that time hasn't impacted the need for advertising nor has the techniques and optimal practices to make a quality advertisement.
Knowing this information would be helpful to any small to medium sized business looking for advertising options so that's what we'll cover in this guide!
So... What is advertising anyways?
The main definition of advertising according to Merriam-Webster dictionary is "the action of calling something to the attention of the public especially by paid announcements" with a secondary definition being "the business of preparing advertisements for publication or broadcast".
History of advertising:
Papyrus were used by the Egyptians to make sales messages and wall posters.
In ancient Arabia (within the ruins of Pompeii) as well as ancient Greece and Rome there have been commercial messages and political campaign displays as well as lost and found advertising on papyrus.
Traditional wall painting can be traced back to Indian rock art paintings from 4000 BC. Rock or wall paintings for the purpose of advertising was another ancient advertising method. You can find these works throughout Asia, Africa, and South America up until present day.
In ancient China, the earliest advertising known was oral, as recorded in the Classic of Poetry (11th to 7th centuries BC) confectionery was sold while bamboo flutes. Advertisement usually takes in the form of calligraphic signboards and inked papers.
In Europe, during the Middle Ages expansion happened because of population growth creating larger cities and towns. However the general population was unable to read. They creatively
used images to represent an associated trade (a boot, a suit, a hat, a clock, a diamond, a horseshoe, a candle or even a bag of flour) instead of using words like: "cobbler", "miller", "tailor", or "blacksmith". Town Criers (street callers) announced the whereabouts of their proprietors in the city square who sold fruit & vegetables from the backs of carts and wagons.
In England, during the 18th century, weekly newspapers started printing advertisements that mainly focused on promoting reading materials like books and newspapers. Advertising in this manner created an affordable option for businesses due to advances in the technology of the printing press and medicines- which were highly sought after.
The regulation of advertising content was created because "quack" or false advertising was becoming quite a problem.
Moving advertising into the 19th Century...
Dubbed "the father of modern advertising", Mr. Thomas A. Barratt worked for the Pears Soap company and excelled in creating a successful advertising campaign for the company.
His campaigns within Pears Soap included targeted slogans, images and phrases. His slogan "Good morning. Have you used Pears Soap?" was famous in its day and well into the 20th century. He even recruited English actress Lillie Langtry to become the poster-girl for Pears and making the collaboration the first of it's kind to have a celebrity endorse a product.
The Guinness Book of Records has listed Barratt as the first-ever brand manager in 1865. Barratt was the brains behind many of the advertising strategies that were widely circulated in his day.
The Industrial Revolution created enhanced advertising revenues because of the consumers it created. By the mid-19th century biscuits and chocolate became mass produced products so British manufacturers used branding to distinguish themselves from grocery products. Well, it worked! One of the world's first global brands was Huntley & Palmers biscuits that were sold in 172 countries in 1900- this was clearly reflected in their adverts.
French newspaper La Presse was the first to include paid advertising into its pages in June of 1836. This allowed the company to lower it's sales price, extend their readership while increasing its profitability. This winning advertising strategy was then copy and pasted into the business strategies of all companies.
Near 1840, Volney B. Palmer established the foundation of the modern day advertising agency in Philadelphia. Two years later in 1842 he purchased large amounts of space in various newspapers at a discounted rate, then flipped them at higher rates to advertisers. Palmer just rented the space - the company wanting to advertise still created the actual ads ( the copy, layout and artwork).
In 1869, things changed when the first full-service advertising agency named N.W. Ayer & Son was founded in Philadelphia.
Customers of Ayer & Son received completed advertising campaigns via the company planning, creating and executing projects.
"By 1900 the advertising agency had become the focal point of creative planning, and advertising was firmly established as a profession". - Wikipedia (Advertising)
Moving advertising into the 20th Century...
As industrialization expanded the manufacturing of products, advertising increased significantly throughout the United States.
In 1919 advertising was 2.5 percent of the GDP (gross domestic product) in the United States and hovered with an average of 2.2 percent from up until around 2007 (may no longer be at this percentage because of the Great Recession, causing a dramatic decline).
To influence consumer spending, mass marketing was designed and implemented. Those efforts would then affect the population's economic behaviour on a larger scale.
Between 1910 and the 1920s US advertisers honed in on human instincts by using their ads to target and harness these emotions into a desire to purchase products and services. Edward Bernays (nephew of Sigmund Freud) tapped into the concept that when selling anything to a consumer - one needs to tap into their unconscious desires and not the rational mind ( as suggested by advertisers before Bernays).
Around this time the concept that "sex sells" became an industry go-to by using techniques to seduce and tantalize the viewer - causing conflicts with the values and morals of society at the time.
Advertising was also used as a vessel for the assimilation of immigrant workers to favor a "modern" lifestyle. The American Association of Foreign Language Newspaper (AAFLN) was a primary advertising agency who gained heavily centralized control over the majority of immigrant press.
Advertising was one of the few career choices available to women at the turn of the 20th century. However, advertisers realized that women held most of the household purchasing power and
recognized the value of women's insights during the creative process. Ironically The first American advert to use a "sexuality sells" was created by a woman (for Woodbury's Facial Soap). This advertisement is extremely subtle by today's standards, however, back then this was a racy ad because of the fact of a couple on the poster with the words "a-skin-you-love-to-touch".
During the 1920's psychologist D. Scott and John B. Watson applied psychological theory to the advertising industry. Scott is quoted as saying " Man has been called the reasoning animal but he could with greater truthfulness be called the creature of suggestion. He is reasonable, but he is to a greater extent suggestible". He simply meant that in order to advertise well you need to have techniques that create a direct command of the consumer.
Radio - around the 1920's
During the early 1920's, radio equipment manufactures -followed by- non-profit organizations like schools, civic groups and clubs were the first to establish their own radio stations.
Consumer goods manufactures and retailers caught wind of this intimate form of advertising
(because of being inside peoples homes) and soon created slogans, mascots and jingles in the early 1920's and early television in the 1930s.
A major paradigm shift prompted immediate change to the strategies that manufactures used to communicate with consumers. The use of mass media communication created opportunity for manufactures of branded products to skip retailers and advertise directly to consumers.
To advertise on such a large scale, manufactures needed to focus on the brand while diving deeper into consumer spending, consumption, usage behaviour, needs, wants and aspirations.
Radio station owners sold slots or "air-time" in small time allocations to increase their advertising revenue. Soap manufactures teamed up with radio companies and the radio drama series became a genre known as soap opera.
Radio advertising was sold via the radio station's geographical sales representatives. So by the 1930's these advertising spots became well known thus creating the era of national radio advertising.
Heading into the 1940's, observation of consumers led manufactures to realize that personal relationships were forming with their brands in a psychological-social-anthropological sense.
Consumer purchasing was heavily assessed through the gathering of motivational and consumer research to produce accurate insights.
The 1950s and Commercial Television
Believe it or not DuMont Television Network had trouble with landing sponsors for many of their programs so they came up with the ingenious idea of selling smaller blocks of advert time to several businesses. This move in the early 1950's solidified the network as advertising strategist by selling advertising time to multiple sponsors.
This strategy ended up becoming the industry standard foe the commercial television industry in the United States, with single sponsor shows being common practice (i.e.: The United States Steel Hour).
Although the single sponsor model is no longer as prevalent as it was in its times, the sponsors exercised great control over the content of the show. This included having their own agency write the entire show.
The 1980s and Cable Television
Between the late 1980s and the early 1990s there was the introduction to cable television and more specifically MTV. Music videos were a concept pioneered by the company, who created a new type of advert that consumers looked forward to viewing. This transformed the consumers attitude towards advertising messages. At that time the consumer tuned in for the advert rather than it being a by-product or afterthought.
The popularity of satellite and cable television led to the creation of specialty channels such as: ShopTV Canada, Home Shopping Network, and QVC. These channels are solely used for advertising only.
The 1990s and Internet
With the arrival of the ad server the growth of online advertising was exponential, thus, becoming known as the dot-com boom of the 1990s.
From coupons to free Internet access, entire corporations were able to run solely off of the revenue generated from advertising.
Web browsing behaviours were collected by search engines (including Google) leading to personalized online advertisements at the turn of the 21st century. The creation of interactive advertising and similar efforts are being implemented by online advertisers.
Looking back to 1925, in the United States, newspapers, signs on streetcars, magazines and outdoor posters were the main channels of advertising with their share of advertising relative to the GDP which changed little since the large changes in 1925.
Since 2017, advertising spending has shifted with online spending hovering about 2.9 percent as a share of GDP. Radio had become a major major advertising media by 2017. Online spending exceeded broadcasting.
The amount spent on advertising as a share of GDP lowered to 2.4 percent by 2017 because the balance between broadcast and online advert had shifted. Since 1998, television and radio have become major advertising mediums.
A creative strategy that advertisers have used in recent years is an approach called Guerrilla marketing. This includes staged set-ups in public places, contests that consumers can win cars that are covered in brand messages, as well as interactive advertising where the viewer can respond to become part of the advertising message. Seeing as this type of advertising is unpredictable, it triggers the consumer to buy the idea or product.
The increasing trend of interactive and "embedded" ads via product placements, voting through text messages and other campaigns by utilizing social network services such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
In media for equity, start-up companies were provided with advertising in return for equity and not sold. If the company expands successfully and is sold then the media company receives cash for their shares.
Registrants of domain names (usually invests in the registration and renewal of domains) at times will "park"' their domains and allow for advertising companies to place ads on their websites in exchange for per-click payments.
So who drives these ads to consumers? Advertisements are usually driven by search engines like Google or Yahoo. Targeted domain names can sometimes host ads placed directly on a webpage through a domain lease or by making direct contact to the domain registrant who sells a specific product. One could easily identify domain name registrants through WHOIS which are public records available at registrar websites.
So here are the 20 main types of advertising that corporations are using:
Direct Main Advertising
Social Media Advertising
Paid Search Advertising
Product Placement Advertising
Public Service Advertising
Cellphone mobile advertising
So what is the most cost effective choice per industry?
The average cost per B2B lead can very greatly depending on the industry. I wanted the community to have the most up-to-date information regarding the financial side of advertising and will refer you to website by Linchpinseo.com with their blog post titled "Projected 2022 Average Cost Per Lead By Industry And Channel" by Team Linchpin - published January 16th, 2022.
Thank you for reading this March blog post and I will see everyone again next month on www.articulatetee.com!