Back in 1941, the world’s first television ad was broadcast. Owning a TV became more common by the late 50s and TV advertisements were rising in popularity. Simultaneously, there were significant political, economic, societal, and lifestyle changes that encouraged creativity. This all made way for the “Golden Age of Advertising”.

Advertisements from this time are remembered today for their innovation and it can be incredibly valuable to reference past successful advertising tactics. Even though marketing has changed in the past 60 years, there are still lessons we can take away from that era that shaped how we view advertisements today.

1. Establish Yourself With Brand Building

This decade was the start of brands using consistent imagery and messaging to establish brand personalities. While in the previous decade, real-people endorsements were popularized, brands realized in the 1960s that it was a safer bet to create their own character or persona to act as a spokesperson for the products. Thus, the Pillsbury Dough Boy and Ronald McDonald emerged! Brand personification was made simpler with the technological developments of the time. Other companies took a different strategy of brand building, such as Coca-Cola with their “It’s the real thing” campaign. Their “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” commercial featured hundreds of young people from all over the world singing together. The advertisement connected the ideas of happiness, peace, and universal love with the Coca-Cola brand. Many of the world’s largest brands were established during this time, and we can still use strategies we learned from this era for brand building today.

2. Harness the Power of Emotion

Advertisers also started to realize the power of evoking an emotional response. Ads that can make an impact on someone in this way are less forgettable and can make people feel a connection towards a brand. One “Barbie” advertisement from the 1960s featured a mother and daughter looking at each other lovingly while holding Barbie dolls. The copy starts with, “She’ll really learn from you. But Barbie will help.” It’s meant to tug at the heartstrings of mothers as they think about their little girl growing up. The emotional persuasion just might make them buy a Barbie doll to be the best mother they can be. In order to successfully plan an advertisement to evoke an emotional response, decide first how you want people to feel and the kind of impact you want it to have on them.

3. Be Open to Breaking the Rules

Advertising is a creative field, so remember that you’re allowed to be creative in your approach. The greatest campaign of the 20th century, as named by Advertising Age, was one that broke the rules and pushed boundaries. In 1959, when car companies boasted the power and large size of their vehicles in their advertising, the Doyle Dane Bernbach agency launched their Volkswagen “Think Small” campaign. That wasn’t the only bold move, either, for the campaign included a large amount of white space to emphasize the car’s simplicity, a sans-serif font instead of serif, a full-stop after the tagline, and black and white coloring at a time when full-color ads were the norm. Another famous advertisement tagline from the campaign was “Lemon”, which used self-deprecating humor to lure the audience in and stand out amongst the competition. The “Think Small” campaign not only altered preconceived notions about what makes a good car, but it changed the very nature of how advertisements are formed. As long as you keep the end goal in mind, be open to getting creative and challenging expectations!

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Auburn Advertising keeps up with advertising and marketing strategies to serve as a resource for you and your business. As a public service of Inner Spark Creative, a full-service creative communications agency located in Auburn, Alabama, we can work alongside you to find and implement the tactics that will help your business flourish. Contact us today for a partner that cares as much about your success as you do!

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