Matt Schiller / Digital Marketing / November 25th, 2008

The Evolution of Advertising

You know that famous evolution poster that you saw in your college lab where the progression of monkey to man was explained? If you do, that means that Darwin is running strong over 100 years after he kicked the bucket. I think there should be an updated poster that isn’t “sooo two centuries ago.”
 
I thought it’d be neat to put together an the explained the evolution chart of main stream advertising. I found it fascinating how not just information on how and where to buy razor blades, but how all information was dispersed. Although I didn’t directly major in Advertising, I did take a liking to it through MassComm classes  

Yeah, I know the elections are over most places. However, the massive flow of information (positive and negative) that I have absorbed over the last several months is still singed into my brain like a brand on the backside of a cow. One class that this latest election made me remember was one geared around the history of the disbursement of political information.               

Picture this: Its 1860 and you’re living in a ten-year old city called Los Angeles, California. Not only is it an election year, but you have heard through the grapevine that things are heating up back east between Northern and Southern states. You obviously have an opinion on these topics and possibly which party you think would do the best job resolving it would be. But wait! Who is running?? Back in those days, it was very rare for any individual from West of the Great Plains to have any political say in Washington. So we can only assume all the candidates running are from back East. But who are they? Our newspapers are always weeks late and our writers are often misinformed. The telegraph only has one major line to California and that goes up to the Gold Country. Marconi won’t send his first Radio wave signal for another 40 years! What do we do?! Well, we just got to live with it. Eventually we’ll find out about this tall fellow (some people lived through the entire Lincoln presidency and didn’t have a clue what he looked like) from Illinois who would end up winning in 1860.

So now that you have a small picture of what it might have been like for those who cared about early America politics, what are the steps we have taken to get the word out about modern views, services, and goods? There was the man who stood on the soapbox that gave the latest and greatest news. Then, came the telegram/pony express era, followed by the telegraph, and eventually more current means.

Radio, Television and the big “I” have made methods and tactics to get an audience to think a particular way endless. In an election, the way you advertise is equally, if not more important, to what you say in your advertising. Obama took this to a level we have never seen before in an election. An Xbox 360 game called “Burnout Paradise” sold the Obama campaign political space within the online version of this popular virtual racer. As you drive through the streets in your supped-up McLaren, you can glance up to see a road-side billboard asking you to vote for Barack. He did the same in EA Sports popular game “NBA Live.”    

As the national demographics changes and America gets younger, not only political parties, but all walks of life that advertise are going to have to continue to “evolve.” Putting an ad on MSN.com already doesn’t cut it. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you think is next in the way news and advertising travels. The topic of text messaging is excluded. I believe text messaging will be a thing of the past before current freshman graduate. I want to hear what is NEXT, not just how we we’re going to change we use current services like texting.