The above video illustrates the evolution of advertising from early newspaper ads in colonial times to today’s online advertising.
The video is hosted by Jared Bauer, who explores the topic of “Why Our Ads Are Different Now,” referencing the history of advertising from the book: Soap, Sex, and Cigarettes by Juliann Sivulka.
The book’s description on Amazon describes it as an examination of “How American advertising both mirrors society and creates it.”
It highlights the growth of advertising in America, the promotion of brands and products and how advertisements and agencies reflect and introduce cultural trends and issues.
The video notes the difference between “hard sell” advertising and “soft sell” advertising. In brief, hard-sell ads focus on specific features and benefits that inform the message and visual components while attempting to promote reasoned self-interest.
Soft-sell advertising is more subtle. Instead of emphasizing rational benefits, this type of advertising attempts to establish positive emotional connections from the viewer to the brand or product. These types of ad messages tend to be warm and fuzzy. Think of most modern big-brand TV commercials.
Whether advertising is becoming better, or not, is debatable. Certainly, most consumers are generally not enthusiastic about being subject to advertising. However, what has been understood by surveys is that consumers are less resistant to ads about products or services that are relevant to them. And of course, the modern advertising industry is getting better at individual targeting, although that also introduces privacy issues.
One key takeaway is that advertising is not only a prominent driver for business promotion, but it’s a part of our cultural heritage.
Avid hiker, bicyclist, motorcyclist and long-time advertising pro. Founder of Skyworks Marketing, Nonprofit Fire and Our Ventura TV (cable TV). One career highlight was working on a small team that built a business from nothing to over $100 Million in 3 years. Skyworks Marketing provides video advertising and lead generation services. We create custom marketing funnels that provide the highest-quality leads and sales.