Marketing

5 Interesting Facts About Advertising: Iconic Slogans, Classic Ads, and Santa Claus

Advertising is a discipline people usually love or hate - but adverts often cross over the threshold of persuasion to become an art

What’s the oldest ad in the world? Did you know some of our most routine habits were started by some of advertising’s greatest minds? Or how the most iconic advertising slogans came about? Discover these interesting facts about advertising and more in the video.

5 Interesting Facts About Advertising: Iconic Slogans, Classic Ads, and Santa Claus 2

1. I advertise therefore I am

Advertising exists to sell solutions to our needs. But if we don’t yet have a particular need, why not invent it? For example, the idea of needing to shave women’s armpits was first documented in around 1915, when Gillette started advertising the alleged benefits of complete body hair removal.

While the “perfect way” to pull a pint (holding the glass at a 45º angle to the tap) was created by a 1950s Guinness advert.

The legacy of Guinness' 1950s advert that established the "perfect way" to pull a pint still endures today.
The legacy of Guinness' 1950s advert that established the "perfect way" to pull a pint still endures today.

2. When did advertising come into being?

The oldest written advert ever found is some 5,000 years old. The papyrus text was written by a trader from Thebes, Ancient Egypt, and offers a reward for information about a slave who ran away. But historical records show that adverts existed long before they could be transcribed onto paper. In China, bamboo flutes and jingles were used to sell candy 10,000 years ago.

The world’s oldest ad.
The world’s oldest written ad from Thebes, Ancient Egypt.

3. Can advertising change history?

The uproar over the personal computers revolution in the US is credited to the legendary 1984 Apple ad, directed by Ridley Scott, which references George Orwell’s character: Big Brother. This commercial changed advertising, because of its groundbreaking aesthetics, and also because it was broadcast only once on TV, during the Super Bowl halftime break.

Apple 1984 commercial.
Apple's groundbreaking George Orwell-inspired commercial "1984" is still talked about today.

4. Tradition or pure marketing?

Santa Claus has worn many colors throughout history: green, yellow, and even white... So why does he always wear red these days? Although, cartoonist Thomas Mast made Saint Nick start wearing red in the 19th century, the modern version came to popularity through a Coca-Cola Christmas campaign.

Santa Claus didn’t always wear red.
Santa Claus didn’t always wear red.

Illustrator Haddon Sundblom seized the opportunity to dress Santa in the brand’s colors, and his wardrobe choice went down in history. This ad is seen as one of the most successful brand positioning campaigns of all time - it even achieved the use of Coca-Cola’s image in other brands’ publicity.

5. How are iconic slogans born?

Nike’s Just Do It is the most famous slogan in the history of advertising. Unbelievably, this phrase that's repeated everywhere today was inspired by the last words of a North American serial killer executed in the 1970s.

Nike’s classic slogan.
Nike’s classic slogan.

Another iconic phrase came to life in 1971: Because I’m Worth It. This was one of the first times a woman (Ilon Specht) broke the glass-ceiling of the then male-dominated world of advertising. Her work for L’Oréal Paris is now considered a masterpiece in the history of advertising.

If you live this video and want to learn more interesting facts about advertising? Discover all of Domestika‘s online advertising courses.

English version by @studiogaunt.

You may also like:

- Toni Segarra, Wisdom and Advice from the Iconic Publicist
- Copywriting Tutorial: Tips to Make Your Elevator Pitch Successful
- Copywriting Tutorial: Dos and Don’ts in Advertising Copy
- Advertising Creativity for all Audiences, a course by Daniel Granatta

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