The golden age of advertising...what does it mean to you? 

Close your eyes and let your mind wander for a moment. Let your mind conjure up the most extravagant of advertising and we bet you'll pull something you saw in the 1950's, 60's, or 70's to the forefront of your mind. Maybe you saw it first hand or maybe as a memory in a textbook from someone else, but we've all seen flickers of the golden age of advertising.

Golden Age of Advertising 1

How did the golden age of advertising come about though?

The early parts of the 1900's are certainly to be held accountable here. With the roaring 20's money flowed like water. Stocks were up, the Rockefellers were making bank, and people were looking for an easy jazz filled life to call their own. By the end of the decade though the stock market was whimpering and people were seeing the cold hard effects of Black Tuesday. A general panic had set in and in the aftermath, thousands of workers were displaced, the economy tanked, and people went into survival mode with a scarcity mindset as their last defense.  This created a generation of those who were careful with money, spent little, and was content to live with what they had, but their children longed for more. 

 Golden Age of Advertising 3

World War II came along next and rations, a sluggish economy, and a bitter taste in the mouth of many Americans from the Great Depression still lingered. Most were careful with what they purchased and often re-purposed items to give them a new lease on life. Folks were feeling strained though and longed for the good life. In America the American Dream is financial security and to pull yourself up to greater things from hardship. So when the fifties rolled around it was no surprise that everyone was ready for a change. So when the 50's came along a consumerist society was born and is still apparent in our culture today.

 Golden Age of Advertising 2

Advertising for things consumers want...

My grandmother lived through the Great Depression, in fact, she was born just a few years before it began. She got what she needed and had the essentials throughout her childhood, but wanting things was another matter. She'd often tell us to wish in one hand and spit in the other and see which got full faster. Her way of saying that you could wish all day but the reality was still going to be there. People were buying clothes, farm equipment, seed for crops, and basic household necessities. Each member of the house would have had their basic necessities in the best case scenario, but toys or gadgets would have been very scarce indeed unless they were homemade or hand me downs. 

So when my grandparents had kids after the war they loved spoiling them and us grand-kids later as well. The 50's brought kids toys in mass, televisions, more recreational sports, and bigger cars that shone like gold. Food wasn't scarce and rationing was over. Employment rates were good too and disposable income was back in the game. Consumer entertainment like movies, eating out, and drive-in shows were all popular. Music and records were selling fast and women's clothing was making a comeback in window displays like never before. Housework was also getting easier too as women purchased vacuums, washers, dryers, and more. So advertising naturally geared up for this consumerist economy and began advertising with the good life in mind. 

 Golden Age of Advertising 4

So what can we learn from this period of advertising? 

  • Know your consumers and what their goals are. Are they looking for essentials or looking to keep up with the Joneses? Do they have disposable income or are they living at or below poverty level?

  • What products or services are in demand in today's market? Without a demand there's no need for a supply. :)

  • Keep it honest! Some brands even during this time had issues with promoting things that their product could never accomplish or omitting safety concerns from slogans or materials presented to the public.

  • Branding really is important and often image is everything when a first impression may be your last opportunity to present your product. I've said it time and again, but I think Red Bull is truly the best example of this in today's market. 

  • Make an emotional connection or offer your consumer an emotional experience. We all like to feel good and as long as you're honest, there's no harm in promoting peace of mind, safety, or anything else that your product or service can truly provide. Allstate's Mayhem did a great job of this in recent years as does Subaru in many cases. 

  • Sometimes you can learn what not to do as well, so keep in mind that consumers have feelings and no one likes a politically incorrect or rude ad in most cases. 


Need help with your branding strategy or advertising materials? Drop us a line and we'll be glad to take a look! Have a great week and we'll see you next time.

 Contact us for advertising assistance today! '

Oh and check out some of these ads from the 50's and 60's to see just what the golden age of advertising was really like for yourself!



Published in K2 Cat
Friday, 26 February 2016 20:26

Is PPC Advertising Right for My Business?

PPC marketing has been on the lips of nearly everyone for the past few years. Companies have often tried desperately to bring in new customers through these paid acquisition channels, but is this technique really working as well as it should?

After a recent conversation with a colleague of mine, I discovered that their PPC budget was doing little to nothing for their site despite carefully chosen keywords and targeting that I had assisted with. Other individuals I’ve run into have worked with outstanding marketers in our field as well with the same dismal results. So I thought it was worth taking the time to see if PPC was really doing all it could for businesses around the world of various sizes. Follow along to see what PPC could really do for your business.


What is PPC?

Pay per click advertising is an internet marketing or advertising strategy designed to drive traffic to your website when you pay the ad publisher. The payment is the amount of money needed to have the ad clicked, in other words, to have the ad placed and put in front of “the right people”. Rather than relying on organic traffic or social media, you are now relying on ad-based marketing that may or may not attract qualified leads to your site. Remember the goal isn’t to attract everyone, but people interested in purchasing your products or services.


How can PPC help my Business?

The idea behind PPC is that it can help you to drive traffic and get more leads. Once the qualified leads arrive on your page they should become a conversion in most cases. This would help your business to sell more products or get more clients. In turn, you should be reaping profits from your PPC efforts with a great return on investment for your PPC funding. Sounds like a great investment right?


The Downside to PPC

PPC can often be confusing for many business owners, take the time to implement and research the right keywords, and produce little to no return on investment for some individuals. This could be due to poor setup or implementation on the part of the user, or it could be due to the generation of poorly qualified leads through these tactics. Of course, this channel of marketing is also dependent on a constant influx of cash to fund the ads as they are clicked. When the budget is gone the ads stop coming, which leads me to my next point.


After PPC, When the Lights go Out

The colleague I referred to before described their experience with PPC in the very end as the lights on their site going out. After the PPC campaign was over and they attempted to keep the momentum going the traffic slowed to a crawl. While I understand that PPC ads should be used as a part of a comprehensive marketing plan, business owners may be led to think that this one channel is their salvation in marketing. Unlike organic traffic from content shares, social connection, and user generated content or word of mouth advertising, PPC is not a long term solution unless a business has the funds to pay for these campaigns month after month for the lifetime of the business.


The verdict is in…

PPC could be a viable solution as part of a comprehensive inbound and outbound marketing plan for a stable company. PPC should not be used as a standalone technique and should not be relied on to generate sustainable traffic once campaigns have ended if funding is not continuous for PPC efforts. PPC may also not bring in qualified leads at all times and may not produce as many sales as other inbound marketing techniques that allow companies to nurture or grow a healthy connection with their customers over several visits. I also want to mention that PPPC techniques may produce high bounces to your site as well if leads weren’t looking for you or if they aren’t inspired to come back to the site due to lack of content or poor user experience. In the end, you know your company best so if you decide to try out PPC, keep an eye on those analytics and keep realistic goals in mind when using this technique.

Do you have questions about PPC advertising for your business? Contact us today for a free consultation!





Published in K2 Cat