Bob's Blog

Marketing is older than you think

How old is marketing then? The early advertising in the ‘Thunderer’, as the Times originally was called, started to run advertisements in the 1700’s. There are many examples of ‘Quack’ doctors in the United States selling so-called cures and remedies from the back of covered wagons in the early days. The earliest ‘ad’ discovered was a bronze plate from ancient China designed to print out flyers advertising needles; and these are just the advertisements.

Marketing is generally associated with commercialism; a means of persuasion through various media to buy one product over another, which is by far what it’s purpose is in the modern world. But we ought to define marketing on a broader scale. Try ‘the dissemination of information through various media in order to develop opinions and hence influence perceptions’. As an example, when people are asked to name an Egyptian Pharaoh, Tutankhamun is the normal answer. Why?

You may have seen a recent documentary on television about the art of ancient Egypt; if not, I did, and hence this piece. Tutankhamun came to throne at the age of nine or ten, and wasn’t really a well lad. Whilst he had powerful advisers and a strong traditionalist desire to return to the deities that the previous Pharaoh had abandoned – no need for more information; research if you’re that interested – he died at the age of nineteen: not nearly enough time to make that much of a stamp on history.

He was buried in a tomb which can only be described as the pyramidic equivalent of the box room, which reveals much of how his status was perceived by his family and peers, yet surrounded by artefacts that the presenter referred to as the contents of a rich grandmother’s attic. And that really is the point. It is because of the richness of the contents of his tomb that he is so well remembered rather than his achievements. This alone ‘marketed’ him as a great Pharaoh and why he is so well recalled. See what you can do with a half-way decent budget?