Papyrus to Programmatic: The History of Advertising

Advertising is an industry that has its roots in ancient civilisations. From Ancient Egyptian carvings on Papyrus and the 15th century revolution from which the newspaper emerged, to the production of radio, TV and now the Internet, Advertising has survived the ages and has continued to adapt to technological advances, becoming a force to be reckoned with.

The first recorded printed advertisement in England was in 1472, and with the establishment of the English newspaper (going back to the early 17th century), print advertisements became increasingly common. This was because, at the time, newspapers were the only medium through which the public could consume news and entertainment. The emergence of the television, however, would change everything.

In the 1950s the Independent Television Service (ITS) was established, laying down the foundation of modern advertising, as the ITS allowed businesses to connect with TV viewers via a TV set.
The 1980’s and 1990’s saw the rise and eventual dominance of satellite and cable TV. With this came increasing competition and choice from other companies, something that grew the more access to target-able audience grew. This continued well into the 90’s and 00’s through TV channels such as Sky, ITV and Channel 4, all of whom vied for advertising revenue.  

Whilst this was occurring, there was an online revolution. In 1994, the first digital banner ad appeared. Advertisers soon began to grow increasingly interested in targeting certain consumer demographics as a way to narrow down their target group and achieve a higher Return on Investment (ROI).
Advertisers soon started to pay for their placements on search engine websites, making digital advertising more and more competitive, something that only continued between the years 1999 to 2002. During this time, the web was rapidly expanding, and the pay for placements turned into pay-for-clicks. Thus, the market for digital advertising was created.

Today, the possibilities are endless. The market has shifted from just digital to mobile and programmatic advertising. One of most recent developments is Dynamic Creative Optimisation (DCO), which allows advertisers to play ads depending on the user’s web behaviour, local conditions and external influences.

Programmatic advertising allows for advertisers to target their ads to individuals, depending on their online habits. From studying this, Programmatic can then ensure that the right ad is played at the right time and in the right place.

Digital advertising has cemented itself as the future. The industry is forecasted to grow exponentially over the next few years. By next year, 85% of mobile display ads will be purchased in a programmatic mannerAt Blackmilk Media, we place Programmatic at the centre of our campaigns. We pride ourselves on working with clients to achieve the highest ROI possible, through narrowing down their preferred target audience.

Advertising as we know it today is a far cry from its predecessors, having been built upon through the ages, as a result of technological advances. These days, advertising comes in the form of the personal. Ads, specifically created for each individual, dependent on the category they have been placed in, means that only what we want to see is shown to us. No longer are we bombarded with a plethora of unnecessary information. Thus, advertising has become streamlined, yet its purpose remains the same.