500 years of marketing…

Over the last 500 years there were very few inflection points to the advertising and marketing ecosystem. In the last 5 years we’ve seen hundreds more infection points…

In the beginning… 1440 to 1940…

  • Guttenberg invented mass printing in 1440.Yet, it wasn’t until 1704 that the first newspaper advertisement, an announcement seeking a buyer for an Oyster Bay, Long Island, estate, is published in the Boston News-Letter.
  • Fearing there may be a pattern occurring, the first convention of advertising agents is held in New York in 1873.
  • Still not knowing which portion of his advertising is wasted, department store founder John Wanamaker is the first retailer to hire a full-time advertising copywriter, John E. Powers, in 1880.
  • Not until 40 years later did KDKA air the first commercial radio broadcast in1920.
  • 21 years after that, with 7,500 TV sets in New York City, NBC’s WNBT aired the world’s first legal television commercial July 1, 1941, costing the Bulova Watch Company a whopping $9.00.

Fast forward 37 years…

  • The first recognizable email marketing message was sent on 3 May, 1978 to 400 people on behalf of DEC – a now-defunct computer-maker – This is also noted as the first SPAM message.
  • In 1990, the very first tool used for searching on the Internet was launched, Archie.
  • Then, in1993, the Internet becomes a reality as 5 million users worldwide get online.
  • In 1994 HotWired coined the term “banner ad” and sold the first clickable advertisement to AT&T

During the last 15 years we’ve seen a flood of new media and advertising options: comparison shopping, SMS, mobile advertising, social media, games. As well as the digitization of our analog world: mobile phone, Kindle, addressable TV, HD radio, digital variable print.

Five years ago, who would have thought that MySpace would now be a worn out social network? Who’s next?


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