History in the MakingRemember those boring written timelines we had to memorize in high school history class? As yawn-provoking as they were, they made it easy to see the evolution of human events from point “A” to point “B” with all of the big moments in between that made it happen. Never a fan of tedious timelines, I was thrilled to discover a video that entertainingly frames up the turning points in the history of advertising – in just 60 seconds!  What a great evolution for the old timeline!

As a marketer, it was fascinating to see the progression of advertising from its earliest beginnings to the birth of modern marketing with print ads and through to the digital age.  The fact that all of this was illustrated in a video that can be viewed by people around the world on their computers at the click of a button is a true testament to how far we’ve come.

As I watched the video, I couldn’t help but mentally insert Curtis 1000’s history into all of the milestones mentioned, and visualize how perfectly they align. Curtis began as an envelope printer in 1882, and as times and technology changed, so did our products and services in response to the needs of our customers.  From envelopes, we ventured into other types of print marketing until today we offer a full scope of print and electronic options for multi-channel marketing.

Given those parallels, the question posted below the video seems especially relevant.

What do you think has been the most innovative milestone in advertising’s history?

My answer is unequivocally: the invention of print advertising.

There are many skeptics immersed in digital technology who would beg to differ, but hear me out. As this video reveals, it all started with print as the basic means of communicating an illustrated point to a large group of people. Print is the foundation for modern media and continues to be a timely and critical component of most contemporary marketing programs. In fact, studies show that campaign ROI increases 57% when print is added to television advertising. (BrandScience)

Print has not died of old age, nor has Curtis 1000, because we’ve changed with the times. Today’s full color, quirky and sometimes interactive print ads are a far cry from their stoic black and white ancestors. And at Curtis we now serve our customers with an array of modern tools that includes not just the latest and greatest digital options, but fresh uses for print as well. None of us know what new marketing innovation is around the corner, but I believe print is here to stay. And as for us marketers, I suspect that while we’re striving to meet our customers’ needs in new and better ways, we might just be making history too.