Then and Now – Traditional Advertising to now of Digital Marketing

Digital and Traditional


Did you ever happen to hear a jingle on the radio and instantly associated it with a product as a reflex action? Or seen a logo and knew the brand already? Or the appearance of someone on television or print media and you could instantly know the product that she represents? Like the famous Airtel girl (Wink). If you remember all this, your childhood was awesome as you witnessed both traditional and digital advertising.

The evolution of advertising dates back to the ages of ancient civilizations that have taken it from the imprints of ancient Egypt, through the emergence of the printing press in the 1440s. Advertising is the bi-product of some major milestones – like the printing press, impact of television, or the worldwide web that has the biggest impact of all.

Since its early stages of evolution, advertising always underwent changes in steel carvings by the ancient Egyptians, to the printing press, and the current digital advancements, every change was adapted to suit new mediums for all audiences.

The internet has revolutionized and changed the face of advertising in the most amazing way starting from the way ads are broadcast today to how consumers act and respond to them.

Everything has evolved for the better. Let’s understand the history and evolution of advertising from the lens of Mobulous.

Traditional Marketing

Traditional advertising or the Pre-Internet Days of advertising has been around for a much longer time than we realise. Technically, the first method of advertising started from us, from the moment when someone for the first time praised or criticized or gave a general review of a product, they purchased to some another person. It’s impossible to find any records of the date or year of when this concept came into existence. However, we all agree that word-of-mouth is one of the first and most effective methods of traditional advertising.

With the introduction of the printing press and televisions, life became easier for everyone as they could give rest to their mouth and advertise through other new ways that caught the attention of the public.

Print media was one of the oldest forms of advertisement with a long trail of history that is believed to have started in the year 1468 when a book of William Caxton was promoted through print advertising. Post this event, John Campbell started to publish ads in Boston Newsletters in 1704 which was created a lot of buzz and attention. Since then, the print advertising started evolving with continued and growing attention and is still a great method of advertising.

Next on the list of evolution were radio ads with the invention of radio stations in the early 1920s which was intended as a primary source of entertainment also gained popularity for ad jingles and ways to promote the business to reach more audiences. The first radio advertisement opportunity was in 1922 when AT&T started to sell toll broadcasting to businesses in return of finances for broadcast. The New York radio station WEAF is officially the first station to run paid advertisements on air.

Radio gathered a lot of momentum and popularity until televisions were introduced to your world to sync words with visuals and magic of moving pictures as a treat to eyes. Let’s travel back to 1941 when the first TV ad was on air and popped up on television screens in America where viewers witnessed the first commercial for Bulova clocks and watches before the watching Philadelphia Phillies and Brooklyn Dodgers playing each other.

This was a historic moment as it had set the precedent for the future of advertising. A lot of traditional advertising still plays a major role in reaching an audience in the world of the digital era, including billboards and in-store displays. Traditional advertising is a tale of awareness, invention, need, passion, popular culture, technological innovation, and social evolution.

Digital Advertising

Digital advertising is so deep-rooted in our existence and everyday lives that we never considered walking down the memory lane to think about when it all started and how far it has come.

How it all started? How we switched from traditional to digital can be hinted with the invention of search engines with Archie being the first one developed in 1990 created by McGill in a primitive version. However, this invention helped to pick up the pace of search engine development with some names like Excite, ALIWEB, and Wandex, developed in 1993. By 1994, search engines gained momentum with the launch of Yahoo!, Lycos, and Alta Vista which changed the way we live, and the major milestone which marks the beginning of our end to do traditional search was with the invention of Google in 1996 which was originally named as BackRub.

Refer to the timeline below for a brief overview of the history of advertising

Traditional vs Digital Marketing

While Traditional marketing is hard to ignore and effective, digital marketing is enabling businesses to become brand and connect to their desired audience through modern technology like never before.

Traditional Marketing can be categorized into 5 major categories:

1. Print (newspapers, magazines, etc.)
2. Broadcast (TV, radio, etc.)
3. Telephone (telemarketing, SMS marketing, etc.)
4. Direct Mail (catalogs, postcards, etc.)
5. Outdoor (billboards, fliers, etc.)

Digital marketing is all about:

Digital and Traditional - MobulousHere are some more facts and figures that can help you to get a clear picture of who is winning the race and understand the prominence and growth of digital marketing…

  • More than 80% of shoppers/buyers do their research online before investing in a product/service.
  • Almost 60% of U.S. adults use Facebook on a regular basis.
  • 94% of B2B marketers are actively using LinkedIn for marketing.
  • Mobile will be accounting for over 70% of digital ad spend by 2019.
  • 90% of B2C businesses report social media as being the most effective content marketing tactic.


Digital marketing vs traditional marketing is an old debate and it’s far from being over or coming to definite conclusion anytime soon. However, with the progression in technology, there are no two ways about the fact that digital marketing can help a business in a much better way than traditional marketing. And it both and mixed together, miracles happen, always.

And to add to this miracle, Mobulous offers services beyond mobile app development. We believe in building versatile and adaptable digital marketing ecosystems, as to offer an aggressive edge to your business and make a digital marketing strategy to fit your goals and budgets. Our digital marketing services include SEO, PPC campaign, branding videos, app store optimization, and much more.

Visit our site and get us to work today.

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