American History of Ads

When we touch anything in history, it most likely gets touched with England. While American advertising is something that is old and vibrant, it too did have it its somewhat roots from the Great Britain. During the 1600(s) when America was still a colony of England, American advertising sow its seed. In late 1700(s) around the time of its Independence, America as a nation wasn’t producing much inside the country and hence, was heavily dependent on the imported products. During this time, Benjamin Franklin began producing his newspaper and printed variety of advertisements. He also added a new aesthetic called illustrations in the advertisements which were missing in the American advertisements before. Looking at his work and his dedication towards the world of advertising, he was also kind of termed ‘Father of American Advertising’ for the later part of 1700(s).

Later, in the mid to late 1800(s), American manufacturing had begun to produce a variety of goods and hence, the advertisements started signifying that the goods were in fact produced in their home itself and not just imported. Around the same time, James Gardon Herald, publisher of the New York Herald newspaper, stated that it was high time that the ads should now be treated as news and therefore should not appear repeatedly. He mentioned no use of illustrations. Putting more restrictions, he made a rule that no ad could appear more than once and if it all it had to done, they would have to be re-written. The idea behind such policing was to make the whole process very democratic so that every advertisement and everyone had a new more equal footing. The restrictions while being just to the ideals had a negative impact to the creative aspect of the advertisement as many advertisers tried their ads in different ways but nothing could have been done to make theirs stand out from the rest. The only thing they could manage to do was printing the same ad over and over again so that it becomes virtually interesting and draws eyes to it. Though in the late 1800(s), poster culture saw an emergence. Public places were plastered with various kinds of advertisements and they began to have some illustrations in them.

In the decade of the 1860(s), emerged the modern advertising agency as they created a role for themselves by offering to physically take the ads from the businesses to newspapers, as there were rules that had to be changed every day. Secondly, helping them to write the ads as well as assisting them to place in appropriate order. There are primarily two types of assisting involved- placing ads which comes under the media department and then in creating ads that come under creative department, which is also available in the contemporary advertising world as well. Examples of the earliest agencies that still exist today are : J. Walter Thompson popularly known as JWT worldwide founded in 1860 in NYC. Second is N.W Ayer which was acquired by Publicis group in 2004.

Categories: News