Part II The tumultuous years of paid advertising

February 7, 2012 by  
Filed under Coaching, Copywriting

In the 1920’s credit lending started to evolve. Advertising became more acceptable as a way of life, as life danced into the prosperous 1920’s. No longer did advertising cause social and ethical anxiety about its implications, especially with the advancement of credit.  President Calvin Coolidge blessed advertisers and agents in an address in 1926 when he stated, “…It is a great power that has been intrusted to your keeping which charges you with the high responsibility of inspiring and ennobling the commercial world.  It is all part of the greater work of regeneration and redemption of mankind.”

It was also the advent of the radio age.  Between 1923 and 1930, 60% of American families acquired a radio.  As a medium, radio turned out to be one of the most successful ways to reach consumers. If any of you remember, or are history buffs, you will recall they had serialized soap operas on the radio, sponsored by certain products.

Advertising’s import was not wasted on the government as a way of drafting soldiers and one might look at the ads today and question their value as propaganda.

The rise of mass subscription magazines saw a burgeoning increase.  It was a time of finding more creativity, experimenting with new types of media, finding respect for ad men, and the beginning of true graphic design.  The rise of psychology was influencing advertising in terms of persuasion, social validation and subconscious fears.

Advertising was turning Americans into consumers.

After the war there was a proliferation of needs for goods and services.  The GI bill stimulated the economy, the baby boom began, housing starts escalated, and the economy was going full tilt with consumerism.  Credit lending and mortgages exploded.  Everyone kept up with the “Joneses.”  Then the penultimate happened.  The T.V.  This was the 50’s and the age of the ad man, think of Don Draper in “Mad Men.”  They ruled the air waves, were higly paid, their theories are still in use today and these were known as the bonanza years.

Being able to use image and sound, combined, they recognized the importance of targeting brand recognition as far more powerful than on the radio.  Media stars were formed such as David Ogilvy and Leo Burnett, highly respected mavens in the advertising field.  Productions such as Kraft Television Theater or Colgate Comedy otherwise known as single sponsor, characterized this decade.

To sum it up, I will quote Lord Thomson of Fleet who stated, “As for editorial content, that’s the stuff you separate the ads with.


© 2011 Sarah Wood

 About the Author: Sarah Jo Wood is founder of Evolving Advisors Inc. and author of ‘How to turn a No or a Maybe into a Yes!”  Her coaching program teaches entrepreneurs like you to overcome objections so you can sign up all the clients you want, fill your practice, and increase your bottom line.  To begin supercharging your sales, download your complimentary sales package today at

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