Historians have suggested that advertising began during the Ancient Roman period. Romans used posters to advertise gladiator tournaments. Advertising as we know it today began during the seventeenth century and coincided with the spread of newspapers. Advertisements during that period conveyed simple facts with plain layouts of text content. As the printing press became more sophisticated during the Industrial Revolution, advertisements used a mixture of graphics, symbols and text to promote goods and services. New products were manufactured rapidly during the Industrial Revolution, and the need to sell them immediately and in massive quantity to the public resulted in the development of corporate advertising specialists and advertising agencies. The government used the power of advertisement to enlist soldiers for both World Wars I and II (“We Want You!”).
Technologies such as radio and film greatly contributed to the proliferation of advertising in the twentieth century. For example, radio dramas after the Second World War were sponsored by soap manufacturers and were referred to as “Soap Dramas” (the precursor to modern day “Soap Operas”). During the 1960s television became the dominant communication and advertising medium. Broadcast networks (NBC, CBS, ABC) provided specific broadcast time, or “air time,” to advertisers, whose advertisements they called 'commercials.' Radio and television advertisements were the primary form of advertising until the creation of the internet during the late twentieth century.
The capabilities of the Internet have created several online advertising strategies, such as email campaigns, banner ads, pop-ups (everyone's favorite) and social media promotions. The great advantage of the Internet is that consumers can see an advertisement, click it and purchase goods or services immediately without having to leave the comfort of their desk chair or couch.