How Has Digital Advertising Changed in the Past 25 Years?

Table of Contents

The field of advertising has gone through some vast changes ever since it became commonplace. The first notion of “promotion” or “marketing” can be dated back all the way to the 1400s. This is when the first printing press came to the world and slowly, but plainly, ads were being printed for businesses to grow. Following this significant milestone, there came the influence of TV, and the first commercials were bringing something new to traditional advertising. Even before any of this, we can trace back to the hieroglyphics made by ancient Egyptians, which were showcasing man’s first step into the field of advertisement. The only difference today is the channels we use and the audiences we attract.

“We have technology, finally, that for the first time in human history allows people to really maintain rich connections with much larger numbers of people.”  – Pierre Omidyar

The most prominent medium which has genuinely changed the advertising game is no doubt the internet. Not only is the World Wide Web a vast and colorful medium, but it has also completely revolutionized the way we see ads. The broadcast and commercialization of these pieces have completely changed, but so have consumer reactions towards them. In the past 25 years, we have seen the rise of digital advertising and its impact. But how much has it truly evolved over the years?

How Has Digital Advertising Changed in the Past 25 Years

The History of Digital Advertising

Digital advertising first came to prominence all the way back in 1994. Although it was not that long ago, it is still quite significant. This was a turning point for the field of advertising as consumer demands were slowly increasing, and brands were catering to a different set of needs. The main aspect to consider with this new trend was personalization and customization, as these experiences were high in demand. The new shift called for a special focus on the consumer and allowing more diversity in the kinds of ads brands chose to showcase.

Greater Need for Diversity, there was a journey to the road of diversity in the field, and its acceptance was long forming. It was correlated to the people who demanded their own experiences on screen and on the internet, which led to a global consensus. A survey was conducted across different genders, racial backgrounds, and sexual orientations in three significant countries to find how creative diversity was a need in the ad industry. The results showed that more targeted and personalized ads led to better advocacy and allowed for more engagement from customers.

How Has Digital Advertising Changed in the Past 25 Years

A Shift in Consumer Habits

Since there is an increase in the ways we can reach more consumers, it is a good practice to look towards the changing behaviors for today’s average customer. Brands and advertising firms have adapted and catered to this change, which has led to the development of new means to get more attention from potential leads.

In the early 2000s alone, Americans spent more than three hours a day in front of the TV, and today, and the same case is with the internet. Stats have shown that social media usage today is up to an average of 1.7 hours a day and adults around the world use at least five social networks. This is a prime example of the shift in consumer habits and how Webzool digital marketing has to evolve in order to meet these changes.

How Has Digital Advertising Changed in the Past 25 Years

The Significance of Digital Marketing

Increasing Sales using digital marketing is an excellent means to increase your sales and make profits for your business. The concept of “digital sales” is allowing people to make purchasing decisions online, whether it is a service or product, which ultimately adds to your revenue.

Reaching More People In 2021 alone, it was noted that the average person on the internet had up to 7 social media accounts. Besides this, 97% of adults in the US who are on social media are young, which means that they are the primary target audience for most brands. The idea behind digital marketing is to reach more people and provide them with a better customer experience than before.

SEO and Its Results, actively using SEO is also a part of these new advertising techniques as they can do a lot for businesses. An investment made in SEO allows your brand story to be told on all platforms, while more consumers are exposed to it. Although it does not give immediate results, it is quite useful.

The Effect of Social Media Platforms

What Are Brands Focusing On ?

There is no longer a need to talk about reach or first impressions when it comes to marketing. The measurement of success in digital advertising comes from more conversion rates and better engagement. The experiences that brands are focusing on cater to longer activities where consumers can have a sense of ownership. This allows the buildup of personal relationships and the brand becomes a center point in their lives. This was not the case over a decade ago, but today with greater consumer centricity, our ideas surrounding business are also changing. Industry experts are also pushing more brands to develop a personality in the digital sphere and show it off to all kinds of audiences.

With traditional marketing, it was a little different. The Marlborough Man was a recognizable cultural figure in the early 1990s, making cigarettes a masculine purchase. It was so successful that it is still regarded today as one of the most innovative campaigns ever. Another example was what people saw on TV, such as characters who endorsed certain products. Cereal campaigns like Think Tony the Tiger and Frosted Flakes were so popular that even today, they are broadcasted to millions of children. The idea is not to change the entire game, and it is to evolve slowly with changing times and then deliver accordingly.

Technology and the Effect on Digital Advertising

Industry Response over the Years

A lot of brands are focusing on making diverse and personalized ads over the course of the years. The main sectors which have adopted digital marketing and all its accumulations are food, retail and healthcare, as they continue to showcase and build diverse strategies. Furthermore, they have taken into account criticisms from the past about lacking in certain areas and aim to deliver fully when it comes to inclusion and acceptance of different kinds of customers. There is no room for common missteps anymore, as it directly impacts the perception of consumers and changes their attitude towards businesses.

Technology and the Effect on Digital Advertising

What is the Shift We See Today ?

What we know and accept in the advertising world today focuses on distinct motives. This is especially true when it comes to commercials, like the ones we see before YouTube videos. There is less of a ‘sell’ mentality and more focus on building communities and raising brand awareness. How has this come about?

Consumers who are presented with a problem and then ultimately a solution in the form of a product no longer have to face such direct advertising methods. The product no longer acts as the centerpiece of digital marketing we know today and instead is replaced by more customer-centric ideas. An example is the Dairy Milk Gorilla ad in 2007, which didn’t even show a Cadbury product also though it was advertising the company.

The History of Digital Advertising Using Video Content for Popularity

A Traditional Medium with Some Creativity

Even though there is a massive wave of different changes in the digital world, traditional means of advertising are not entirely dead. Although they made, have taken a step back from more frequent and more accessible practices, they have found more ground with the help of a creative outlook. These ads are still out there on billboards and TV screens in captivating and vibrant ways.

They allow people to take a moment out of their phones and computers to see new businesses into a broader landscape. The idea is to take into strategic account placement and use these methods in crowded areas where more people will have the chance to witness them. As this continues to be a powerful marketing tool, it continues to exist within the digital realm.

Internet Has Changed Advertising Many Times

The first example of an advertisement that went live was seen in 1994, and a few years later, Google allowed businesses to run their ads on the engine and reach their audiences in a better way. This was done by promoting the brand and their business when keywords were put into the search engine, which redirected them to their desired location. While this was only the early stages, there is a lot more ground that online advertising has covered. There are no limitations in regards to engines like Google, nor is a website your only tool to promote your brand. Today, you can market yourself online through

  • Social media networks
  • Phone apps
  • Streaming services, like Netflix or Spotify
  • Devices, like Amazon’s Kindle Fire

And much more. This further lets businesses target different kinds of audiences with any adverts they choose and based on demographics, they are able to give a more customized experience.

The History of Digital Advertising Using Video Content for Popularity in 2020

Technology and the Effect on Digital Advertising

Technology will continue to progress, and this means that it will continue to leave its mark on digital advertising means and methods. While this new trend takes over TV commercials and other traditional methods, brands will invest more of their time and money into their future. There are many kinds of new ways this will continue to have an impact, especially when reviewed over the last twenty or so years.

Omni-Channel Marketing is Up and Coming. With the combination of direct marketing as a traditional means, alongside a strategic use of digital advertising, you will be able to get high returns on investments and get better results. This is allowing markets and businesses to come up with unique and exciting campaigns that stand out over standard marketing methods. Consumers are compelled to respond, and they are attracted to the capabilities of this new idea.

What Are Brands Focusing On The Significance of Digital Marketing

Using Video Content for Popularity

Around twenty years ago, people were all about TV. But today, it is all about the internet, and with platforms like Facebook and YouTube, video advertising is the new wave. People are used to watching videos more than consuming any other kind of content, and thus they are not attracted to images on billboards or TV ads. They expect to receive different types of advertising campaigns, focused on their interest, which can be consumed quickly. Thus, creating ads according to their own media is the right way to go.

What Are Brands Focusing On The Significance of Digital Marketing

Personalization of Ad Campaigns

When you personalize your ad campaigns and allow the internet landscape to cater to a new generation, there are going to be more shares and views of your business and products. For example, when you tailor-make your ads to the mobile generation, the Gen Zers, you will see that they enjoy personalization and trends. On the other hand, compared to Millennials, their habits are a little different as the latter interact with lesser screens and platforms. By using big data and adding that to the content you need, a unique experience can be created easily. Britannica

How Has Digital Advertising Changed In The Past 25 Years ?

The Effect of Social Media Platforms

Social media has lessened the barriers between consumers and sellers. There is a vast scope of people sharing pictures, videos, and personal details with everyone they find on the internet. This kind of direct interaction is also expected from the businesses they purchase from, and this is why getting access to information needs to be quicker and simpler. No longer do customers have to stay on hold after calling a 1-800 number. Instead, they can visit a brand’s Facebook page or Twitter account to post their reviews, ask questions, and view upcoming products. The evolution of easy access is here to stay, so companies should implement this into their system.

How Has Digital Advertising Changed In The Past 25 Years ?

Using Data and Research

Although this has been around for a long time, an effective means must be employed for their use. There are vast amounts of data and insights which can be tracked and understood. This helped consumer behaviors to be made clear and allow more important means of engagement. Businesses can use this reliable information to deliver a productive and supreme strategy that will be accepted globally.

The Bottom Line

In the past two decades, digital advertising has genuinely evolved, but some aspects have remained the same. This distinction is somewhat confusing but can be seen as a method of growing further in the way brands market themselves. Wikipedia

Sarah Jay has been a content writer for many years. She works for Vidnado, and her articles usually focus on website development, animated video, graphic design, SEO tips, and tricks, and technology. In her free time, Sarah enjoys reading and traveling.

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How Has Digital Advertising Changed In The Past 25 Years ?

Anaïs Dubois

Anaïs Dubois

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