Changes in Advertising Through the Ages – Part 3


The concluding part of our blog to see how advertising has changed through the ages starts with the 1990s and we compare this decade with the past decades that went before. We continue to see to phasing out of content as imagery still remains dominant.

The 1990s

Advertising in the 1990s saw almost the disappearance of text. Brands and logos were used in conjunction with images. The text was merely in bullet form or highlighting company slogans. Imagery became very large as the intention was to make the ads more eye-catching, and the audience was drawn towards the product or a logo rather than than describe what the product actually is. The construction of the advertisement features a clear center point which is the main topic of the ad.

A New Millennium

The turn of a new century was supposed to signal the end of the world as far as technology was concerned, as many scientists predicted there would be a computer meltdown as the clocks chimed twelve. As supposedly many programs had the year 2000 programmed as the last ever day. This of course was twaddle, but what the new millennium did bring was a change in attitudes as far as advertising was concerned. 2000 was the decade of sexualization and bare skin. Glamorous models were now appearing in advertising and imagery was everything.

Logos also became a major feature of ads, and the audience is meant to have more relationship with a brand than an actual product. The audience that is targeted clearly is identified by what models are used in the advertisement.

Advertising Today

Not surprisingly advertising today is far more eye-catching than it has ever been. Competition levels have increased to the level that advertising companies have to be even more creative in how they capture the audience’s attention. There has been a great development of the interactive advertisement, scratch and reveal cards are highly popular, and soap manufacturer Dove increased sales through a highly successful scratch and reveal campaign. Modern advertisements have moved towards high-tech graphic design rather than just using photography.

Advertising has had to move with the times during its whole existence, many of the old forms of advertising are now long gone, such as hand drawn ads, or scientific tips. No longer do we see adverts slagging off their rivals and focusing on why one product is better than another.

Social Conscience

Advertising today has to have a social conscience more than ever before, it has to accept what society accepts and what the modern audience values. If you look at advertisements that are perhaps twenty years old, not only do they look dated but also the content seems very strange.

Some old elements of past advertisements live on, such as celebrity endorsement. But the adage that sex sells is becoming increasingly more prevalent in today’s fast consumer world. The main focus point of many advertisers today is simply to get consumers attention, however, they do this does not seem to matter, and then logos or branding will take care of everything else.

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