We’re pretty sure that there was no creative brief for this assignment. We’re not sure what these people were saying other than “We were here.” Still, humans have been sharing creatively crafted messages for a very long time.
The Printing Press was invented giving people the ability to share messages with large audiences. Fortunately, junk mail was still a long way off.
This is the first, documented print ad in history. It was run by William Caxton to promote a book. We don’t know what it says or if it worked since, in 1468, a tiny percentage of the population could read.
Volney B. Palmer opened the first American advertising agency in Philadelphia. At the time, nobody monitored advertising and advertisers could, and did, tell outright lies. False advertising was highly effective until the lawyers got involved.
Broadcast Radio debuted with live music, news and “theatre of the mind” radio shows. Marketing messages were buried right into the scripts giving us the first branded content. Radio was supposed to be the end of the printed word. It wasn’t.
Television made its debut. There was only one channel, and there was always something good to watch. Today, we have over 1,000 channels, and there’s never anything on. Forget radio; everyone knew that TV was the end of the printed word. It wasn’t.
In 1949, ads boasted that “Doctors Prefer Camels.” Now we have fake Doctors in lab coats standing in fields of flowers pitching remedies for diseases and conditions that most of us can’t pronounce and didn’t know existed.
Bad puns and catchy jingles were all the rage in the ’60s. People smoked at work. Men wore ties and ran the agencies. Women wore dresses and were called secretaries. It took 50 years for the Me-Too movement to change all that. All except the bad puns, sadly, they’re still around.
Borrowed Interest defined the 70’s and, to this day, borrowed interest is considered to the lowest form of advertising. Celebrities sold everything from cars to cough drops. In hindsight, advertisers didn’t always pick the ideal, long-term spokespeople.
That year, the first large scale public demonstration of the ARPANET was conducted and the hot new app, electronic mail, was introduced. Back then, SPAM was still popular lunch meat.
Among other things, the ’80s gave us three-martini lunches thinly disguised as brainstorming sessions. Some of us kind of miss those days.
Branding became a thing in the ’90s. Until then, branding was only used as a verb when cattle were involved. We believe that your brand is your promise. Keep your promise and watch your brand grow and flourish.
The FNC passes a resolution defining the term “Internet.” Chat rooms evolved, and people learned to type with one hand. For the first time in 550 years, the printed word starts to decline, and trees everywhere appreciate it.
Integrated Communications was the new thing in Y2K. The idea was that ad agencies could sell more stuff and make more money from every client. It didn’t work. Marketers preferred specialists to generalists. It was around this time that people started using stock photo handshakes as metaphors for anything to do with business.
Facebook launches as a bunch college nerd spend their Friday nights rating women’s looks online. Just think, if they had had girlfriends at the time, Facebook probably wouldn’t exist. Whatever happened to My Space? In 15 years, click-throughs and hashtags have replaced brochures and newspapers.
Brand & Mortar, a digital marketing company, opens in Toronto. Our philosophy from the start has been to grow our business by helping our clients grow theirs. Eight years later, it seems to be working.