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Marketing in the Participation Age: A Guide to Motivating People to Join, Share, Take Part, Connect, and Engage by Daina Middleton

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Chapter 3

Tools for the Past 60 Years

Mad Men character Don Draper sits in a Midtown Manhattan office of the fictional agency Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce in the 1960s. The Mad Men advertisers were master persuaders, epitomized by Don Draper, who is a creative genius surrounded by mystique. Advertising as a concept wasn’t a new phenomenon in the 1960s. The first advertising agencies actually launched in the United States in the 1870s, followed by the first French agency in 1922. The industry then grew at a steady rate after World War I.

The introduction of broadcast media was the last big evolution of our industry prior to the Internet, and radio was the first widespread mass medium. By the end of World War II, 95 percent of all homes had radios, but television already had begun to erode its popularity by the early 1950s. As a result, radio stations began to shift their programming focus from news and story segments to music. The transistor radio positively affected radio growth by allowing for the production of cheap, portable radios that people could use in cars or outdoors. Interestingly, a large number of “hackers” who assembled radios at home using spare parts also helped spread radio accessibility.

During radio’s golden age, advertisers sponsored entire programs, usually with some sort of message such as, “We thank our sponsors for making this program possible,” that aired at the beginning or end of a program. During this time period, it was certainly appropriate to create ...

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