A brief timeline of Modern Advertising

  • Jan 1, 1450

    The Printing Press is invented.

    The Printing Press is invented.
    Johannes Gutenberg introduces the printing press. The middle ages introduced a new way to communicate a variety of messages. Advertisements were communicated through printed media and people such as town criers.
  • Volney Palmer opens the first advertising agency in Philadelphia.

    BioKnown as the first "ad agency man", he set up business in an economically depressed Philadelphia that ended up skyrocketting into success after a slow start.
  • Period: to

    Thomas J. Barratt

    Thomas J. Barratt was chairman of A&F Pears. He entered the company and worked with his father in law to advertise their soap product through images and slogans. "Tastes change, fashions change, and the advertiser has to change with them. An idea that was effective a generation ago would fall flat, stale, and unprofitable if presented to the public today. Not that the idea of today is always better than the older idea, but it is different - it hits the present taste" Thomas J Barratt (1907)
  • John Emory Powers hired as first full-time copywriter.

    John E. Powers's job consisted of writing down-to-the-point slogans that brought in customers for "Lord & Taylor's" and John Wanamaker's department store. His practice saved a near bankrupt business in Pittsburg.
  • First Commercials

    During a radio broadcasted baseball game, AT&T's WEAF station has open slots for ads at $100 a peice. A Long Island real estate firm bought 15 slots at $50 each, which resulted in boosted sales in property.
  • Lucky Strike Campaign

    "American Tobacco Co. spends $12.3 million to advertise Lucky Strikes, the most any company has ever spent on single-product advertising." - Ad Age
  • Stock Market Crash

    "Following the stock market crash, advertising spending plummets. From its high of $3.5 billion, it sinks to $1.5 billion by 1933." - Ad Age