The History of Advertising

history of advertising infographic
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The analogy I always use to companies when they ask what the difference is between advertising and marketing is fishing. Advertising is me sticking a worm on the end of a hook and dangling it in front of the fish, hoping they bite. Marketing is the strategy that led me to the lake, the kind of boat, the tackle, the rod, the reel, the line, the hook, the bait, the time of day and the kind of fish that I’m trying to catch… as well as how many of them. Advertising is the event, marketing is the strategy (that often incorporates advertising).

Do you know that the first print ad was created in England, and it was for a prayer book? Or that the first official TV commercial was in 1941 for Bulova watches? Bet ya didn’t know that the first keyword ad was “golf”! The evolution of advertising has experienced milestones such as the printing press and television which impacted advertising format immensely. However, the internet has revolutionized advertising perhaps the most, and we believe that In-Text advertising is the next generation of advertising. So it was important to review where advertising began in order to better understand we are headed!

Advertising has been around for quite a long time… in fact, a lot longer than I had ever realized according to this infographic by Infolinks:

history of advertising


  1. 1

    I think the Dentifrice Tooth Gel may be a bit ahead of the times in 1661. Other than that, this is a great list – and lots of fun too!

  2. 2

    That is a wonderful graphic, I can’t image what that file looked like on Photoshop! the history of advertising is really the history of commerce, communication and also monetary exchange. For me, the advertising industry actually started in Madison Avenue NYV in the early 20thc when agencies started to pop up, combining art, mass media and consumer psychology. Bhere is a wonderful book I have called Information inn Beautiful by David McCandless: a must read on info graphics, really pushes the boundaries….

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