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Ad History and Glossary

Research everything from the history of the ad industry to ethics in advertising. Plus a glossary of advertising and public relations terms.
  1. Advertising Glossary (104)
  2. Ethics (9)
  3. History (27)
  4. Research (8)
  5. Youth Advertising (6)

Vintage Ads From America
In part one of this series, we looked at some of the major events that happened in the 1940s, and how they affected the world of advertising, marketing and design. Not surprisingly, the ads themselves were byproducts of a decade when racism and sexism and were par for the course. Now, we cast our eye on the 1950s to see just how advertising progressed (or in some cases, regressed) and the events that may have affected that work. We start with the biggest:

Vintage Television Ads From America
The popularity of the show Mad Men has brought to light some examples of advertising that the advertising industry would like to forget. In particular, the way we advertise to men and women. Times have certainly changed, and it seems the world of advertising is a good way to judge that transition. In a three-part series, we will examine ads from...

25 Great Advertising Quotations.
Looking forward often requires looking backwards, at where we have come from. In the case of advertising, many great people have given us a great deal of insight on the subject. All we have to do is listen to it, and we can stand on the shoulders of giants and take the next step. So, for your inspiration, here are 25 great quotes on three different advertising topics honesty, content, and the creative process. Enjoy.

Touching on Subliminal Advertising
Subliminal literally means “below threshold” and as such is supposed to be something that your subconscious registers, not your conscious mind. There’s a now infamous story regarding sales of popcorn and soda at a movie theater that, although proven to be false, demonstrates the supposed effect of subliminal advertising.

The September Issue (2009)
Imagine a real life "The Devil Wears Prada" and you have the basis for this throughly entertaining documentary about life at Vogue magazine.

Is It a Good Strategy To Call Out Your Competitors?
Small companies have nothing to fear from their larger competitors. They may not have the money, but they do have the ability to play David to their Goliath. And it's usually a successful strategy. Find out why.

The Structure of an Advertising Agency
A breakdown of the typical structure of an advertising agency

A Profile of Neil French – A Brief History of a Copywriting Legend
One of the greatest copywriters who ever put pen to paper, Neil French is still considered by many to be the gold standard for copy and headlines.

The Pros and Cons of Advertising Timesheets
Timesheets can be both a blessing and a curse to advertising agencies. What makes them so good, and bad, for all concerned? Check out this overview of the ups and downs of the dreaded timesheets.

Vintage Ads From America
In parts one and two of this three part series, we looked at the 1940s and 1950s, and a small sampling of the advertising that came out of the US in those two decades. Now, in this final chapter, we turn our eye to the 1960s. Will the swinging sixties, civil rights, free love and the women’s bring a change to the tonality of the advertising? Lets start by looking at some of the major events happening in the United States during that decade.

Icons From Advertising History Part 2: The Marlboro Man
Perhaps the greatest cigarette icon to come out of the glut of tobacco advertising was the Marlboro Man. Conceived by Leo Burnett, the rugged model of American manliness was born in 1954.

Icons From Advertising History Part 3: The Nike Swoosh
What did it cost to create such the iconic NIKE SWOOSH logo? How much time, and money? The answer might surprise you.

Icons From Advertising History Part 4: The Apple Logo
Almost everyone in every country in the world knows the Apply symbol. But it didn't start out as the simple and elegant logo that some people have tattooed on their bodes.


It’s every advertising agency’s dream. To create a logo, spokesperson or brand identity that becomes famous around the world. Here are four of the best.

The Differences Between Strategies and Tactics
If you work in advertising, you will hear two words banded around frequently; strategy, and tactics. What’s surprising is how often the two are confused, or misinterpreted.

The 50 Best Advertising Taglines Ever
Here are 100 of the best taglines from brands around the world. Most are American brands, but you may spot a few from other countries in there.

Top 10 Epic Advertising Fails Ever Part Two
We dive deeper into the archives to find five more examples of ill-conceived ideas that left the ad agencies, and their clients, wondering what had hit them.

Advertising In The 1920s
In a time when international travel happened by ship, and radio was the height of home entertainment, advertising in 1920s America was a very different animal

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