It’s easy to tell when an ambitious college student says they want to tackle the history of advertising that they have no idea what they’re getting into. The attitude of approaching advertising as a single entity is a mistake that most professionals in the industry will only come to know after a few years in the trenches.
A more realistic approach to the subject would begin with a more specific target. The history of advertising blank is a more gripping topic and can provide actual information.
Take for example the modern strategy of a company like The Blinds Place, to the ones taken by its predecessors. Explore through the website and you’ll find the design trademarks of a properly constructed online space. The information is divided into subcategories featuring the different products.
These products are then described in short paragraphs (1-2 sentences long), with perhaps one or two pictures, and bullet points to cap the whole thing off. This is in keeping with the attitude of the modern consumer that prefers to get to the point as soon as possible.
Contrast that to the examples of curtain and window advertising done just fifty years ago. This isn’t a time that’s too far to use as a sample, considering there are still people alive that were born before that.
Advertisements were often published in magazines with varying sizes, and they often competed with other businesses on the same magazine. This forces advertisers to get creative with the ways of getting a reader’s attention, and convincing them not to turn to the other page.
Writers often used long paragraphs that still got to the point of why their product is the best, but presented the information in a flowery and more entertaining manner. If the information was cut into bite-sized chunks, it was often paired with an elaborate oil painting of the product within a luxurious and highly stylized environment.
The contrast of the examples is clear and informative, because the scope of the subject is limited to just one thing.