The Origins of Advertising


The majority of the world can best describe advertising as a paid form of a commercial message transmitted within a mass medium, but, there still exist contradictions on the definition of advertising. Historians, marketers, advertisers and the common people all view advertising differently – as an art form, a marketing tool, may be a science and many more such interpretations.

Word of mouth, the most basic and indeed the most powerful form of advertising has been around ever since the exchange of goods and services started between people. Advertising as a distinct form arguably is said to have begun along with newspapers, in the seventeenth century

Advertisements started as simple advertisements e.g. for events, which have been around for a long as people have been trying to make money out of attracting a wider public. Posters announcing an event were perhaps the first form of advertising, and these date back to gladiatorial contests in Ancient Rome. The first paid advertisement, however, for occupying space in a media form is said to have appeared in the newspapers in the seventeenth century. These were the clear-cut statements of fact, without any fancy illustrations, and were often impossible to differentiate from the news stories around them. As the eighteenth century wore on, when Industrial Revolution was gathering pace and consumer goods became more refined, manufacturers began to identify the fact that they needed to create a need or demand for their products.

Newspaper- Advertising
The First French Newspaper

Frenchman Théophraste Renaudot created a very early version of the supermarket notice board, a . People seeking or offering jobs, or wanting to buy or sell goods, could put up notices so that the maximum number of people had access to this information, Renaudot created La Gazette in 1631, the first French newspaper. This is how personal advertisement was born.

Bubbles — the Pears’ Soap Advertising Innovation: An early advertising success story!

Newspaper- Advertising
Pears-The Oldest Brand of the world


The ideal vehicle for this new phenomenon, advertisements, proved to be the newspapers. New technologies made newspapers cheaper, more broadly accessible and more frequently printed. The newspapers having more pages, so they could carry more, bigger, ads. Simple description and the prices of products served their purpose of communicating the message until the mid nineteenth century, when technological advancements meant that illustrations and colours could be added to advertising. Advertisers started to make their message more creative and communicative thereby creating a need for advertising. The need for more creative advertisements led to competitiveness. There was a strong need and urge to brand their products to differentiate them from one another, and therefore creating mass recommendations to support the mass production and consumption model.

The origin of Advertising in India goes back to the Indian civilization. Relics of Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro indicates names engraved on exquisite earthen, stone or metal works, which is comparable to the present trade mark system.

The origin of commercial advertising in India is relatively recent. The growth of Indian advertising too has been slow with the pre-independence era. Only a handful of companies were engaged in the business of advertising that too on an unprofessional basis and had remained almost restricted to the media buying services with Very little amount of  creative work. During the First World War, the newspaper circulation was increased as people were really keen to know about the war affairs. After the First World War, the Indian agencies had to face stiff competition, majorly from the British and the American agencies. The Indian agencies during that period learnt the importance of agency business as a rich source of employment and earning.  They tried the outdoor advertising media as due to a fact that most of the newspaper media was under the control of foreign agencies. B. Dattaram’s, was India’s first advertising agency, from Girgaum, Mumbai, which filled up the void. The very first Indian advertising agency offering both creative services as well as space selling was Sista’s Advertising and Publicity Services set up by Venkatararao Sista in 1934. However, the first truly multinational agency was J Walter Thomson (JWT) in the year 1926, hired to look after General Motors’ Indian interests in the country.

India has now infinite number of advertising agencies. Our country has moved way too forward in terms of advertising. There are full service agencies, creative boutiques, and Digital agencies ready to cater to specific requirements. ReleaseMyAd is again a step ahead and an agency of its kind. It is a web based agency and works as a big advertising marketplace for Businesses, Individuals and the major media vehicles. It proves to be the easiest way to book Classified & Display Advertisements for Times of India, Hindustan Times, Hindu, Dainik Jagran and many other leading English, vernacular and regional newspapers of India.