Business Advertising

About Advertising in the Early 20Th Century


Advertising for products and services made significant advances towards the end of the 19th century and early 20th century. Print media sources and a few other networks were used to advertise products that were overflowing in warehouses. Advertising agencies were formed and advertising agents helped publish print ads in leading newspapers for commission. Enterprising retail trades and manufacturers placed advertisements that promised a return of money if the quality of product was not satisfactory. This marketing technique became hugely popular and the main reason for this success was highly professional early advertising strategy.


Before the early 20th century advertisements were printed in newspapers, a few magazines and leaflets. The advertisements were not entirely reliable and trustworthy and even absurd and the public did not trust the advertisers and the product advertised.

This change in the early part of the 20th century and early advertising were done with a scientific approach for the first time. Innovative thoughts and technologies were employed by the best early advertising brains to increase sales and profits. Well planned and executed advertisements made by advertising agencies were supported by the state.
Calendar posters were one of the new forms of early advertising in the early 20th century. Companies presented calendars as gifts to consumers. The calendars had glossy pictures along with the prominent display of brand names. The calendar posters that had calendars for the current year and the subsequent year were given as gifts to the urban middle class. Top car manufacturers like.

Patent medications were the most advertised products. Some of the top brand names that advertised patent medicine were Coco Cola, Colgate, Wrigley Ivory, etc. These companies later stopped patent medicines and started manufacturing soaps, cosmetics, automobile, etc under the brand name.


The early advertising agencies employed people with creative skills, marketing specialists, copy writers, designers, media analysts, product testers, artists and the like to bring out highly professional and effective advertisements. The agencies bought time for advertisements in radio and the first radio advertisement was broadcast in 1922 on the WEAF radio station in New York.

Manufacturers were able convey early advertising message directly to their present and potential consumers. Even consumers who were illiterate and could not buy a publication could be connected with directly. The advent of televisions advertisements in the second half of the 20th century changed the face of advertising. Extremely attractive and seductive early advertising entered homes and successfully influenced men, women and children. The well made colorful and catchy advertisements instigated people to buy products. Sales of all kinds of consumer goods saw a dramatic rise. Famous personalities were hired to advertise products.

Ford manufactured thousands of cars and these were sold, thanks to carefully planned and executed advertisements. Early advertising were so effective that around 15 million cars were sold by 1928.

Tips and comments

The two world wars played a huge role in early advertising. Advertisements in print media were effectively used for enlistments in the military. Various slogans and patriotic texts were distributed by the government to recruit men for the army. Powerful words and images filled advertisements that propelled men and women into action were very popular early advertising.

By Smita, published at 03/26/2012
   Rating: 4/5 (11 votes)
About Advertising in the Early 20Th Century. 4 of 5 based on 11 votes.


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