Digital Advertising: A History Lesson

Digital Advertising: A History Lesson


When you think of where digital marketing is in 2015, I’m amazed everyday at how quickly advancements are being made to deliver beautiful marketing to the sophisticated web users.  As web users we expect a lot.   We are more informed about our purchases being made online and offline.   We have means of communicating to other consumers to inform them of our purchasing story.  We expect a seamless cross-channel shopping experience and websites that cater to us every step of the way.  And we got there quickly.

If you remember the days of surfing with Netscape, the painful slowness of each website loading, made even more painful if a banner ad also loaded, you are probably thinking of a time in the mid-90s.   Wired Magazine reports the first banner ad was launched on October 27, 1994 by a company called HotWired.  The ads were 468 pixels wide by 60 pixels deep.  Legend has it AT&T was the first digital ad heard round the world.  The copy?  “Have you ever clicked your mouse right HERE? You will”.

Other notable (and surprisingly recent) evolutionary moments in digital marketing include:
  • The first ad server NetGravity in 1996
  • The first Google AdWord appeared in 2002
  • The first YouTube ad pre-rolled in 2005
  • The first Facebook ad  went social in 2007

Source: Wired Magazine, Marketo

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