A look at advertising through the years

by WF- Enzo Administrator
8 replies
Everything evolves - from Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, to how marketers sell a product. And so here's a visual history of how print media evolved from the copy-heavy ads of yore to the minimalistic ways advertisers have been doing today.



1910-1930s
Ads back then relied on long body copies to sell. This was also when consumerism started, and purchasing power increased. One of the most popular ads during this time was JM Flagg's I Want You for the US Army to recruit servicemen for the two World Wars.








1940s
Ads became more imagery-oriented, and while long body copies were still common, one-liner slogans gained exposure. The We Can Do It! poster was iconing during World War 2.








Post-War: 1950s-1960s
Ads this time ushered a new approach to ad layouts, many of which are still in use today. Body copies were moved to the bottom, as well as increased usage of imagery. Volkswagen's Think Small was one of the most iconic ads during this era.








1970s

As photography evolved, so did ads which used better images and shorter body copies. Coca Cola was an example, as well as then-startup Apple.








1980s
The 80s saw ads which looked more minimalistic and less cluttered than before. Advertisers capitalised on increased consumer purchasing power too. There, however, were still copy-heavy ads especially those designed by computer manufacturers.








1990s
Minimalism and pop culture carried on through the 90s, and featured some of the most recognisable ads of all time. Meanwhile, automotive manufacturers heavily advertised then-modern car features and still had copy-extensive ads.






2000s
Year 2000 saw minimalistic ads, with dominant imagery and often relied on digital post-processing. Personal devices were also heavily advertised, as the new millennium saw new phone and laptop models released to the market.





#advertising #print ads #print meda #years
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  • Profile picture of the author webcontent
    Advertising has evolved and improvement in the mindset of the advertisers can be seen too. Though the print media suffered due to digital marketing, still innovations made it the most preferred mode of advertising. It would have been better to include advertising after 2000 too as then reference of digital marketing services could be seen.

    I wonder the role of print media in digital marketing now.
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by webcontent View Post

      I wonder the role of print media in digital marketing now.
      I say different form same function. Take any one of those images and really look at it, and it could be a digital ad today. And here in lays the problem with most ads today... people are to busy trying to re-invent a wheel that was made a whole lot of years ago through print media. In truth all of the basics and concepts translate 100% across paper to digital.

      Right down to Ad sizes... whole page, half page, 1/4 page, 1/8,1/16, bottom banners, top banners etc. Print media is the foundation that the digital world is built on.

      I literally grew up in a family owned print shop... so these kind of things are second nature to me. but page layout is page layout. The use of fonts and images to make the text more interesting to read. USING fonts that can be read... as my Grandfather used to say "If you cant read it, what's the sense of printing it?

      And that statement right there goes a long way in dictating color and font choices in my book, in the now digital age... and its a rule we have all seen not followed.

      There is simply a whole lot to learn about how to be more effective today in digital marketing, by looking at what happened in days gone by in print media.
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      • Profile picture of the author LindyUK
        Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

        I say different form same function. Take any one of those images and really look at it, and it could be a digital ad today. And here in lays the problem with most ads today... people are to busy trying to re-invent a wheel that was made a whole lot of years ago through print media. In truth all of the basics and concepts translate 100% across paper to digital.

        Right down to Ad sizes... whole page, half page, 1/4 page, 1/8,1/16, bottom banners, top banners etc. Print media is the foundation that the digital world is built on.

        I literally grew up in a family owned print shop... so these kind of things are second nature to me. but page layout is page layout. The use of fonts and images to make the text more interesting to read. USING fonts that can be read... as my Grandfather used to say "If you cant read it, what's the sense of printing it?

        And that statement right there goes a long way in dictating color and font choices in my book, in the now digital age... and its a rule we have all seen not followed.

        There is simply a whole lot to learn about how to be more effective today in digital marketing, by looking at what happened in days gone by in print media.

        Hello Savidge

        I agree with what you say. Right now we are churning out hundreds of Halloween Ad packages for our clients. We design 2 Ads, one for Print (local newspaper, flyer, etc) and one for Digital (Facebook posts or website)

        Both Ads are based on the same design to provide continuity over the Ad campaign. I'll show an example, this is one we have done for one of Sherri's offline business's:




        That is the Print version. (We don't need any shop address as the shop is in a small town and same location since it first opened in the 1930's)

        The Digital version is exactly the same except the top image is animated. So we have the witch flying back and forth in front of the moon, clouds moving behind the moon and the bats flying out towards the viewer.

        We always design for visual appeal, to be effective an Ad has to capture your attention away from anything else on the page. This is done mainly by image and colour, copy (text) is minimal.

        Cheers
        Lindy
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    • Profile picture of the author SARubin
      Originally Posted by webcontent View Post

      I wonder the role of print media in digital marketing now.
      Print media still has a place. In a world full of electronically induced ADHD, where all the backlit screens of the digital world are full of clutter and distraction, print media can give people something tangible and real to focus on.

      Here's an article from target marketing that talks about the role of print when marketing to millennials. It's an article from last year, but it's still relevant...

      https://www.targetmarketingmag.com/a...ts-engagement/

      And let's not forget that there's still a bunch of old farts like me kickin' around, with money to spend, who often find it easier to trust businesses that connect with us in the real world.

      Even though I personally owned and operated a fairly successful E-commerce business for around 7 years (before I sold it) I can still appreciate any business that's willing to spend the time and money to engage with me in the physical world.
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  • Profile picture of the author alexweber
    Interesting topic... Advertising definitely changed and evolved over the years but core marketing principles remain the same - especially when it comes to creating effective ads. It's getting harder and harder to get people's attention online so I'm sure more inovations and changes to the way marketers advertise online are to come.
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by WF- Enzo View Post

    Everything evolves - from Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, to how marketers sell a product. And so here's a visual history of how print media evolved from the copy-heavy ads of yore to the minimalistic ways advertisers have been doing today.
    Print media for the ads you show also reveal an evolution of the media itself, from LOOK, to LIFE, and dozens of others, heavy with PHOTOS... but a recent visit to BARNES & NOBLE and one sees MORE magazines available than ever before, and many niched down to very small market segments.

    To say the I WANT YOU AD, is copy heavy, how do you come up with that?

    Now a history of remote direct response ads shows that not much has changed, with VIDEO being the big evolution, you would find ads in national magazines from the 1880's which would feel as familiar as the latest IM product launch.

    Show us a MINIMALISTIC Internet Marketer (successful) and I'll show you five who are COPY HEAVY and constantly interacting with both buyers and prospects. If any thing, many of the IM guys are much more involved (the opposite of minimalism) with their market than ever.

    And print, including those HUNDREDS of magazines at B & N, includes the still sent newsletters, ads in the mail, and direct response offers.

    Some media, is exactly the same, for example, back in the day, when I was active in the circular pubs and mail inner circles, it was done on 8.5 x 11 paper stapled together...whereas NOW, the exact same circulars are SCANNED and turned into a PDF, but the content is exactly the same as it was 30 years ago, except for inlcluding URL in the print and online version.

    I'm going to disagree with the assertion on this one.

    Will agree about ATTENTION being harder and harder to get, but the same rule of 1880 applies today, MAKE IT ABOUT THEM, and not about you, and your remote direct response ad still has a chance of grabbing their attention.

    GordonJ
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  • For complete books of ads thro the decades nip onto amazon and type...

    All American Ads...

    1900 -1919, 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's. 80's, 90's ( 9 volumes and counting).

    Taschen are the publishers.

    You'll have a library to relish so you will.


    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author xtremeordeal
    Very interesting post I see how diverse the they are and how the digital age has boosted advertisements now. Thanks
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