Commercial messages and political campaign displays have been found in the ruins of Pompeii and ancient Arabia.
Lost and found advertising on papyrus was common in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome.
Advertising is differentiated from public relations in that an advertiser usually pays for and has control over the message.
It is differentiated from personal selling in that the message is nonpersonal, i.e., not directed to a particular individual.
Commercial ads often seek to generate increased consumption of their products or services through "branding," which associates a product name or image with certain qualities in the minds of consumers.
On the other hand, ads that intend to elicit an immediate sale are known as direct response advertising.
Wall or rock painting for commercial advertising is another manifestation of an ancient advertising form, which is present to this day in many parts of Asia, Africa, and South America.
Over the many years–over 25 years now–working as Logo & Graphic Designer, I have been incredible fortunate to have had the pleasure to work with an incredibly diverse range of clients, including, but not limited to: Technological Companies, Software Develepors, Real Estate Agents, Florists, Photographers, Churches & Religious Organisations, Financial Institutions, Bike Shops, Record Labels, Car and Automobile Dealers, Online Insurance Websites, Consultants, Lawyers, Advertising Agencies, Graphic Design & Web Design Studios, Fashion Designers, Clothing Retailers, Recruitment Agencies, Dating Websites, Chocolatiers, Songwriters, Dentists, Interior Designers, Garden and Landscape Designers, etc.
Advertising may also be used to reassure employees or shareholders that a company is viable or successful.
Modern advertising was created with the techniques introduced with tobacco advertising in the 1920s, most significantly with the campaigns of Edward Bernays, considered the founder of modern, "Madison Avenue" advertising.
Non-commercial advertisers who spend money to advertise items other than a consumer product or service include political parties, interest groups, religious organizations and governmental agencies.
Non-profit organizations may use free modes of persuasion, such as a public service announcement.
including old media such as newspapers, magazines, Television, Radio, outdoor advertising or direct mail; or new media such as search results, blogs, websites or text messages.
The actual presentation of the message in a medium is referred to as an advertisement or "ad".