The use of advertising to sell products has been part of man's culture since the ancient times of Rome and Greece. Today it permeates society at all levels through the medium of print, radio, television, film, video and billboard, attempting to seduce and manipulate the consumer in order to secure or make a sale. The purpose of this paper will be to analyze just what is this specifically designed "language" of advertising, its effect on the buyer, and how it utilizes such elements as the written word, symbols, colors, status appeal, typeface, setting and implied messages,
The 1986-1987 Advertising Red Book lists 3562 advertising agencies in the United States.1 This figure includes the big ten New York agencies down to the two-person shops. All handle three elements within their business: client relations, creative production and buying/placement of ads in the media. What began as a middleman business, placing merchant's notices in newspapers and charging a 15 percent fee, has turned into a very sophisticated marketing operation controlling billions of dollars.
Advertising in the United States began with serious intent in the 1800s when it heavily supported the nearly 1,000 magazines that were being published with a circulation of about one million.2 Newspapers were already working hand-in-band with advertisers by this time, but it vas the national distribution of periodicals that saw the beginnings of what is known today as the advertising agency.
The source of all the advertising capital then came from the new millionaire of the era, the "Patent Medicine King." Great sums were spent promoting patented medicines and devices so that by the end of the century, million-dollar budgets were not uncommon. Just before the Civil War, the value of medicine produced in America was around $3.5 million. By the end of the century this figure was 20 times higher, thanks largely to advertising which used every method available a...