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Traditional Advertising: Overview

To fully understand “Traditional Advertising,” we should break down both parts. Let’s begin with advertising.

The ol’ dictionary says advertising is “the act or practice of selling lots of stuff, using lots of different things.” You caught me, it doesn’t say that. It does say: “the act or practice of calling public attention to one’s product, service, need, etc…”

So, the question now is: “How does one call public attention to their product, service or need?”

In the past, specifically, prior to the advent of the Internet, advertising primarily occurred through traditional mediums (also known as traditional forms of media) – print (newspapers and magazines), TV and radio.

To give you an idea of some of the earliest print advertisements, in June 1836, the French newspaper, La Presse, was the first to include paid advertising in its pages. Radio and TV came long afterward – in fact, the first radio commercial was broadcast on November 2, 1920, and the first United States TV commercial aired on July 1, 1941.

On categorization:

Print, TV and radio fall under the category of “Traditional” because they predate the big, bad Internet. For years, however, they reigned as the primary options for businesses and individuals to promote their product, service, or needs. coca-cola-vintage-ads1Importantly, over the last few years, there has been a decline in total money allocated towards traditional advertising techniques, in exchange for an increase of spending on other new and emerging methods – online, mobile and social media.

But just because there are more options for advertising, and people are utilizing those options, it doesn’t follow that traditional methods are less relevant on a mass scale. Instead, we should view relevance on a case-by-case basis.

For example, a social media campaign may work well for one Client who sells shoes targeted at 18-35-year-olds, but may be terrible for a Client who sells funeral services to a significantly older demographic.  

To be sure, traditional advertising: print, TV, and radio are able to maintain relevancy based on a number of factors. But ultimately, it comes down to who will engage with the content, and how you want them to engage with the content – if at all.

All of these options put us in a pretty exciting place. With a variety of platforms, marketers are able to put together strategies that utilize the tested tools of traditional, and the emerging new, or they can choose to keep them exclusive.

In the end, it’s up to the Client’s needs, the brains of the marketer, and at least one of five functioning senses of the target audience.



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