Oldest Newspaper Ads Of The World

Since the emergence of Newspapers, i.e. in the 16th and 17th centuries, newspaper advertisements have been a part of our daily lives. Newspapers back then used to publish commercials in them to cover the cost of distribution and publishing. So, we have been reading newspapers and looking at ads given alongside them for ages. It has become like an everyday affair for us by now. In the last five centuries, many individuals and business organizations have contributed to advertising in the newspapers.

Thus, even today, we can see creative advertisements from different individuals and organizations drawing awe from the people.

The early newspapers were generally weeklies published in countries like Holland, Venice, Germany, and so on, mostly contained news on Politics and war. Daily Courant, the first published daily newspaper, was published From 1705 to 1735 in Britain. Newspapers from the very beginning used to carry commercials on them, but with the publishing of daily newspapers, the advertisement content on newspapers started to increase. The first newspaper commercials consisted of book promotion and advertisements of medicines.

However, by the middle of the 17th-century, commercials for other products in newspapers began to appear. La Presse, a newspaper paper from Paris, started advertising to Lower the sale price of the newspaper from the 19th century. The Boston newsletter of the United States became the first newspaper to carry advertisements.

The oldest newspapers in the World

La Gaceta de Madrid or BOE was a Spanish Newspaper published in 1622. In 1656 Weeckelycke Courante van Europa, Dutch Newspaper, came into the picture & published by Abraham Casteleyn and Margarita Van Back.

The British Newspaper, The Times, was published in 1785. It was also one of the leading newspapers of the early nineteenth century. The Daily Mail started getting published at the end of the nineteenth century.

Some oldest iconic newspaper ads of the World

The first newspaper advertisement in America was about a house on sale on Long Island; it appeared in 1704.

By all this time, we have come across advertisements in newspapers that have not done much more than just selling a particular product or service. It has improved the way of communication all over the World. From the clothes we wear to the places we go, advertising has its influence on everything.

Let us now talk about some of the oldest iconic newspaper commercials all over the World.

  • In 1704, the newspaper, The Boston News-Letter, published the first advertisement in America. However, the circulation of this newspaper was limited, and the British government highly subsidized it. So, That was the beginning of advertising in newspapers. The advertisement was about an Oyster bay seeking a buyer in Long Island. 
The Boston New- Letter - Oldest Newspaper
  • The Benjamin Franklin newspaper in 1729 started advertising columns allowing the advertisers to advertise their products and services only newspapers. The Benjamin Franklin newspaper, also known as the Pennsylvania Gazette in Philadelphia, included pages meant for ‘New advertisers’.
  • In 1784, Pennysalvinia Packet from Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin became America’s first successful daily newspaper to publish print advertisements. The newspaper was also known as General Advertiser.
Pennysalvinia Packet- oldest newpaper advertisement
  • In the 1800s, when print commercials were only limited to text, the production level of manufacturing companies developed, which gave the advertisers the ability to print product images in the newspapers. As production increased, the prices were more affordable to ordinary people. We help advertisers to promote goods and services through print ads. Here are few examples of print ads during the 1800s.
  • In 1867, advertising was allowed to be placed in religious magazines by New York agency Carlton and Smith.
  • Here is an advertisement for Ivory soap by Protector and Gamble Co. during 1882.
advertisement for Ivory soap by Protector and Gamble Co. during 1882
  • “Uneeda” was the first pre-packaged biscuits of National Biscuit Co. during 1898.
  • The 1900s brought a significant change in the print advertising industry. The effectiveness of the World Wide Web and the internet gave a broader reach to production companies. Goods and services we’re able to reach millions of audiences around the World. Print ads could now be featured on billboards, vehicles and various websites. Here are a few examples of print ads during the 1900s.
  • Here is a commercial of Coca-Cola advertising the product during 1911.
Coca-Cola advertising the product during 1911
  • A famous advertisement by the US Army is encouraging young people to join them during 1918.
famous advertisement by the US Army
  • Here is an advertisement for “Lucky Strike”, an American cigarette brand owned by British American tobacco during 1929.
advertisement for Lucky Strike
  • In 1960, Volkswagen printed an ad with the tagline “Think small” intended to create a revolution.
  •  A classic ad from 1972 by Hush Puppies, a leading footwear company, is launching their “shining shoes” collection.
classic ad from 1972 by Hush Puppies
  • Here is another advertisement from 1988 for Revlon, a famous cosmetic brand launching their new collection “Revlon Red”.
advertisement from 1988 for Revlon
  • In 1929, Guinness, a beloved Irish beer, also had a famous advertising campaign back in the time. Before the ad, the Dublin brewery relied on the spread of news from mouth to mouth. Nonetheless, during 1929, it launched a print ad with the catchphrase, “Guinness is good for you”. Doctors almost believe that the drink was healthy.
  • The Coca-Cola ad print of 1931 created the misconception that the brand was the first to discover the physic of Santa. Today, Santa Claus looks exactly like he did in the ad, but coke has experimented with ingredients.
Coca-Cola ad print of 1931
  • In 1942, Westinghouse electric launched a print ad featuring a very muscular woman and having a catchphrase of “we can do it”. The ad was to influence females in workplaces and to initiate themselves to work for World War II. However, it didn’t work well at that time. It was not until the 1970s that this was used as an inspiration for women’s empowerment.
  • The use of diamond rings for marriage proposals started solely due to this ad of 1947 by De beers. By the late 1930s, De beers were having a hard time manufacturing their gemstones. There had been a decrease for decades, but once The Great Depression occurred, they thought of doing something with the heads of ordinary people. They printed an ad using the tagline, “A diamond is forever”. This created a new tradition for using diamond rings for sealing bonds for eternity, such as marriages. 

Media and communication have always been the source of many unheard voices. Without newspapers and media information, this World would remain distinctly a vast place. These old print ads were revolutionary and influential in so many ways. The youth needs to understand that social media and the internet, in general, shouldn’t be misused.

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