Advertising: a form of communication intended to persuade an audience (viewers, readers or listeners) to take some action. It includes the name of a product or service and how that product or service could benefit the consumer, to persuade potential customers to purchase or to consume that particular brand - Wikipedia
According to the Advertising Age, the first newspaper advertisement was an announcement for a buyer of a Long Island estate, published in the Boston Newsletter in 1704. It of course appears as though America were the pioneers in Advertising with this inaugural placement. This was followed by several milestone events in the 18th and 19th century which saw advertising evolve into magazines, the use of slogans, the formation of professional groups, commission-based sales, and so much more. You can view the chronology of advertising timeline at http://adage.com/century/timeline/index.html .
Fast forward to the 21st century – what has become known as the digital age, the age of the information super highway, the age of information at your finger tips, the age of the obsoleteness of traditional communication of all forms, including advertising. The publishing of advertisements in the print media – newspapers and magazines primarily – are now being replaced by Internet web banners, strategic placement of advertisement buttons on websites that see high traffic, ultimately resulting in a high click through rate for retailers of all types and sizes.
It would be amiss of me to speak about the digital age and not mention Social Networking as the catalyst of marketing today. I’ll dedicate a whole different post to Social Networking in the coming week. However, it is noteworthy to mention the increased popularity of Social Networking as a means of communication and promotion of goods and services for consumption. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace just to name a few, have opened many opportunities to entrepreneurs, small business professionals, large multinational corporations, Charitable and non-profit organizations who are seeking a low cost alternative to expensive advertising methods. The reach of the internet through social networking is tremendous. By creating your online space through a website, Facebook account of a blog, you have the capacity to reach thousands of thousands of people, target persons who have an interest in the product or service you have to offer, and lure the prospective client into your world through email subscriptions, joining online groups and more.
So, what is the fate of traditional advertising in the form of print media? Certainly, we can all appreciate that there will always be a place for this type of advertising. We can also acknowledge that we won't be seeing the back of the ordinary newspaper and magazine ad placement any time soon. Even though there are online versions of most paper publications today, believe it or not, there are still some people in the universe who are technologically challenged and always will be. The thought of using a computer to wire money overseas for example, would be thought of as some demonic attempt to steal our money or that using a telephone that is not by a bedside table or nightstand is so liberal it has to be a sin.