5 Ancient Advertisements

With our society becoming increasingly more about consumerism, it is impossible to go anywhere, online or not, without facing an advertisement. Advertising is a growing business and industry, but it did not start out of nowhere. Exactly how old is is advertising? And where in the world was it created?

Is a couple thousand years considered old? One of the earliest documentations of an advertisement hails from Thebes Egypt, around 3000 BC. The advertisement, written by a a fabric seller, was offering a reward for the return of his slave, Shem. They could bring information or Shem to the store, which contained the “most beautiful fabrics woven.” Sounds like two advertisements in one!
 

Amongst the Roman and Greek ancient ruins in Ephesus, Turkey, you will find a somewhat scandalous advertisement engraved into the marble walkway. The engraving is dated to the 1st Century AD, the footprint is actually a way to lead men to a hidden, but not so secret brothel. The left footprint alluded that the location was towards the left, and the size of the foot insinuated you must be a certain age!

 

Hundreds of years old spam? In the Medieval times, scribes would tend to address customers on the last page of their book, alluding to the fine quality of the work done. Some would even mention their location if any customer did decide they wanted their superior services.

 

In 1704, the first newspaper advertisement was released in the Boston Newsletter. In the advert, the newspaper was looking for someone who was willing to buy an estate in Oyster Bay, Long Island. The newspaper was a whopping three weeks old before it issued its first advertisement.

 

The world's first TV advertisement was broadcasted on July 1, 1941 on WNBC. The watchmaker brand, Bulova aired it before a baseball game and paid around $9.00! A national advertisement today, at the same prime time, would reach up to millions of dollars at this point. Click this link to watch the ad: https://goo.gl/qJUXml