Ancient Marketing & Advertising

Poster Advertising has been uncovered in Pompeii, Italy

Poster Advertising has been uncovered in Pompeii, Italy

While the actual number viewed is debated, in todays day in age we are literally bombarded with hundreds of advertisements. Some researchers even suggest a person living in the city could be exposed to up to 5000 advertisements a day. A day. TV commercials, flyers, billboards, pop-up ads, brand logos. All marketing tactics. All trying to get your attention. It’s simply part of our daily life. Did you know though that it’s always been apart of our daily life? Since at least 2000 BC? Here’s a small look into some of the earliest forms of marketing and advertising in history.

Egyptians

    • Back around 2000 BC Ancient Egyptians would write on papyrus to advertise their goods. Probably best compared to todays version of a flyer.
  • Ancient Rome

    • Back in 79 BC Ancient Romans would advertise with paintings to promote games such as chariot races, gladiator contests and, pantomimes at venues such as the Circus Maximus. Spectators didn’t have to pay for these events, so ancient romans were the first to use goodwill advertising tactics.
    • There has even been the discovery of graffiti styled ‘Wall Posts’ revealing a potential ancient Social Network.
  • Middle Ages

    • During the middle ages from the 5th to the 15th century a large majority of citizens could not read. Symbols were used as signs to differentiate between shops.
    • Town Criers were used to communicate messages including advertisements. This could be used as an example of word-of-mouth advertising in the middle ages.
  • It wasn’t so obvious back in the day, but marketing has always been around us and attempting to manipulate and influence us. It’s fascinating for me to see how it’s developed over time. Also, interesting to see where it will go in the future.

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    About Dave

    I'm a 26 year old marketing enthusiast from Ontario, Canada. I graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Commerce, and I'm currently a media buyer / planner for a marketing firm in downtown Toronto. Some of my interests include marketing, blogging, photography, travelling, coin collecting and reality TV. Also, I'm an avid Blue Jays fan. You'll find me catching a game whenever I can.
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