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250 Years of Marketing in the U.S.

Updated on October 31, 2017

Marketing 250 years ago was more focused at individuals living in cities or the local community. Marketing was used to get the product some attention and in most cases to fund newspapers. These days marketing is used by everyone and is a thriving business. From transportation authorities to schools and churches, everyone uses advertising. The corporations selling products 100-200 years ago were not as large as they are today and therefore couldn’t get their products shipped halfway across the nation as quickly or efficiently as they can now.

This meant advertising was not “in your face” as it is these days, it was “personal and private: “this hat is perfect for you” these days companies try to sell as many products to as many people as possible: This hat is perfect for everyone (Boorstin). Before marketing was mostly used in newspapers, which affected a small group of people and advertisers didn’t know how effective their advertisements were. There were no figures showing the relationship between advertising and sales numbers. These days there are studies and tangible evidence that marketing has a profound effect on sales numbers. The advertisements aren’t just used to add value to a product they are the main attraction. As Klein said, “it is not to sponsor culture, but to be the culture”(Klein). Before it seems we had a choice to look at or read ads, but today we are forced to look at ads and to buy things. Marketing molds and manipulates our perception of reality. As Plato’s stated reality is based on our perceptions and senses, this is how advertising has managed to get such a firm grip on us, it has literally warped our reality, for example, in the New Yorker article BIG AND BAD it is explained how individuals think S.U.V’s are safer because they are bigger and higher up. Ford used this in its advertising and it convinced people to an extent that in the 1990’s its Michigan truck factory became “the most profitable factory of any industry in the world” (Gladwell).

A hundred years ago Americans were not as connected as they are today, the Internet, social media and television connect us in so many ways that we are influenced by everyone at every moment. The things we drink, wear and eat are not based on the local fashion anymore, but on a national or even global trend. It seems over the years advertising has gone from personal and formal to impersonal and informal. We are more loyal to a brand now than ever before. For example, I buy Apple products even though I know they are more expensive and I could buy a similar substitute product for much less. The advertisements used to be isolated in newspapers or fliers, but now they inhabit our music, our buildings, the media, and even our textbooks and classrooms. Advertising has gone from being a small part of our culture to an unstoppable creature that has “fused together to create a third culture: a self enclosed universe of brand-name people, brand-name products and brand-name media” (Klein).

Work cited

Boorstin, Daniel J. "The Americans, Vol. 3 The Democratic Experience." Goodreads. Web. 11 Jan. 2016.

Gladwell, Malcolm. "Big and Bad - The New Yorker." The New Yorker. 12 Jan. 2004. Web. 11 Jan. 2016.

Klein, Naomi. "No Space No Choice No Jobs No Logo." 2002. Web. 11 Jan. 2016.

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