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History Of Advertising And It's Affect On Popular Culture

What is advertising? Advertising is a means of conveying information to consumers about a product or service that exists in many different media. Advertising serves to persuade and inform a consumer base in order to

Is advertising a direct affect Popular Culture, or is it a direct effect of Popular Culture? Through the exploration of advertising history in the 20th century, brand identities and their development, along with the examination of Popular Culture, and historical events occurring during the same time frame, we can hope to
find an answer to both of these questions.

Lowering of prices and the beginning of mass production made products more widely available to the public, and thus carrying with it, the need to bring their attention to the new items on the market. With the creation and development of the transcontinental railroad, a national market for products opened.

Although the first advertising agency was developed in 1841 by Volney B. Palmer, it wasn't until the 20th century that advertising agencies began to offer a full spectrum of services ranging from branding and logo design, to concepts, and implementation of the campaign. Originally, the agency served to secure the ad space in a newspaper. By the time the 20th century began there were several agencies for companies to choose from. Experts started coming out of the woodwork left and right to share their thoughts on advertising and the best methods to use, writing book after book on the subject. (1)

The nearly three decade span between 1900 and 1929, known as the "Lost Generation" signified a time in our history full of hardship, and struggle for the majority of America. However, it was during this time

The Lost Generation was referred to as such because "their inherited values could not operate in the postwar world and they felt spiritually alienated from a country they considered hopelessly provincial and emotionally barren". More specifically pertaining to a group of writers, all people who were born and came of age during this time are collectively known as members of this generation. (11)

Women and minorities were beginning to find a sense of liberation while they took over running the commercial world in place of the men, who were off fighting in World War I. The development of Henry Ford's assembly line and vehicles occurred in 1914 and made travel possible for more American citizens each and every day. (3)

It was during this era that advertising a product moved from a static announcement about the new product, to a more persuasive manner; actually trying to convince a consumer that they needed the new product. By using this technique advertisers developed repeat customers for a company, which in turn created brand loyalty. Brand loyalty helped even more to bring new products to an existing consumer base, while increasing the consumer base in general. Brand Loyalty "is the consumer's conscious or unconscious decision, expressed through intention or behavior, to repurchase a brand continually". (31) Brand loyalty occurs because something about the product, be it features, quality, price and value, or even the manner in which it was advertised, has convinced the consumer that it is worth purchasing continually; whether it be on a regular basis or not. To create brand loyalty, advertisers have to break an existing consumer habit, create the new habit of buying their product versus the competitor, and strengthen the newly developed habit by repeating the value of the product and encouraging maintaining purchase of the product in the future. In order for brand loyalty to work efficiently, an advertiser must present the product with a "personality" giving its advertising memorable and positive qualities. (31)


By Lucinda Watrous - I am a 25 year old WAHM with a six year old son. Thanks to AC, I am now working full time as a freelance writer, and enjoying being able to support my family of three.  


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