This article is about the form of communication. For the British musician, see Gaye Advert. For other uses, see Advertiser (disambiguation). For content guidelines on the use of advertising in Wikipedia articles, see Wikipedia:Spam. For a proposal on advertising about Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Advertisements. A Coca-Cola advertisement from the 1890s Marketing Key concepts Product marketing · Pricing Distribution · Service · Retail Brand management Account-based marketing Ethics · Effectiveness · Research
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Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience (viewers, readers or listeners) to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common. Advertising messages are usually paid for by sponsors and viewed via various traditional media; including mass media such as newspaper, magazines, television commercial, radio advertisement, outdoor advertising or direct mail; or new media such as websites and text messages.
Commercial advertisers often seek to generate increased consumption of their products or services through “Branding,” which involves the repetition of an image or product name in an effort to associate certain qualities with the brand in the minds of consumers. Non-commercial advertisers who spend money to advertise items other than a consumer product or service include political parties, interest groups, religious organizations and governmental agencies. Nonprofit organizations may rely on free modes of persuasion, such as a public service announcement (PSA).
Modern advertising developed with the rise of mass production in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 2010, spending on advertising was estimated at more than $300 billion in the United States and $500 billion worldwide. Internationally, the largest (“big four”) advertising conglomerates are Interpublic, Omnicom, Publicis, and WPP. HideDefinition The non-personal communication of information usually paid for & usually persuasive in nature, about products (goods & services) or ideas by identified sponsor through various media. Arenes 1996) Any paid form of non-personal communication about an organisation, product,service, or idea from an identified sponsor. (Blech & Blech 1998) Paid non-personal communication from an identified sponsor using mass media to persuade influence an audience. (Wells, Burnett, & Moriaty 1998) The element of the marketing communication mix that is non personal paid for an identified sponsor, & disseminated through channels of mass communication to promote the adoption of goods, services, person or ideas. (Bearden, Ingram, Laforge 1998) An informative or persuasive message carried by a non personal medium & paid for by an identified sponsor whose organization or product is identified in some way. (Zikmund & D’amico 1999) Impersonal; one way communication about a product or organization that is paid by a marketer. (Lamb, Hair & Mc. Daniel 2000) Any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas,goods or services by an identified sponsor. (Kotler et al, 2006) ^Jump back a section HideHistory Edo period advertising flyer from 1806 for a traditional medicine called Kinseitan Egyptians used papyrus to make sales messages and wall posters.
Commercial messages and political campaign displays have been found in the ruins of Pompeii and ancient Arabia. Lost and found advertising on papyrus was common in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. Wall or rock painting for commercial advertising is another manifestation of an ancient advertising form, which is present to this day in many parts of Asia, Africa, and South America. The tradition of wall painting can be traced back to Indian rock art paintings that date back to 4000 BC.  History tells us that Out-of-home advertising and billboards are the oldest forms of advertising.
As the towns and cities of the Middle Ages began to grow, and the general populace was unable to read, signs that today would say cobbler, miller, tailor or blacksmith would use an image associated with their trade such as a boot, a suit, a hat, a clock, a diamond, a horse shoe, a candle or even a bag of flour. Fruits and vegetables were sold in the city square from the backs of carts and wagons and their proprietors used street callers (town criers) to announce their whereabouts for the convenience of the customers.
As education became an apparent need and reading, as well as printing, developed advertising expanded to include handbills. In the 17th century advertisements started to appear in weekly newspapers in England. These early print advertisements were used mainly to promote books and newspapers, which became increasingly affordable with advances in the printing press; and medicines, which were increasingly sought after as disease ravaged Europe. However, false advertising and so-called “quack” advertisements became a problem, which ushered in the regulation of advertising content.