Fifteen Incredible Facts in Advertising History

Every now and then, it’s nice to take a break from the serious side of your occupation and learn about the more trivial side of marketing. That’s what we had in mind for you when we learned that David Zaleski at iMedia Connection had come up with a list of “marketing facts that will blow your mind.” We adapted and beefed up Zaleski’s list to provide you the following top craziest marketing facts.

1. The banner ad below was the first ever, created in 1994 by HotWired—now—to monetize its website.

2. 7% of Americans has never heard of Facebook, and10% has never heard of Twitter. The percentages for MySpace, Google+, and LinkedIn are 15%, 55%, and 61%, according to a June 2013 survey from the Social Habit.

3. A lot of food in advertising is inedible, thanks to “food styling.” For example, burgers tend to be superficially cooked, ice cubes are often acrylic, and household cleaners may be used to make cheese look freshly melted.

4. Riche Silverstein, the co-founder of Goodby Silverstein & Parnters—the agency tasked with creating milk ads—originally hated the “Got Milk?” campaign, saying it was lazy and grammatically incorrect.

5. Twitter was first called Twtter, but the name changed several months prior to launch.
5a. The first tweet was “Just setting up my twttr” by Twitter creator Jack Dorsey.

6. The Taco Bell Chihuahua—Remember “Yo quiero Taco Bell”?—was actually a female dog named Gidget, who passed away in 2009.

7. Mobile video is the fastest growth area in marketing, with eMarketer expecting smartphone video viewers to reach 87 million by 2014.

8. Google Ad Sense ads have a click fraud rate of roughly 10%, which Google admits in its Ad Traffic Quality Resource Center.

9. The following ad topped Business Insider’s list as the worst ad of 2013.

10. The number of display ads served rose from 1 trillion in 2009 to 5.3 trillion in 2012, according to comScore, which estimates that the 2012 total equals about 883 digital ads for every person on Earth.

11. Below is the most expensive commercial ever, totaling $33 million. Nicole Kidman was paid $3 million for her “role.”

12. Mountain Dew’s “most racist commercial ever” was created by Tyler, the Creator, co-founder of the hip hop group Odd Future. Part of the ad can be seen in the video below. Skip to 0:41 to avoid the commentary if you prefer.

13. Facebook makes up 20% of all Internet page views and has an average time on site of 20 minutes per user.

14. Published in an 1886 issue of the Atlanta Journal, this was the first Coca-Cola ad:

15. Willard Scott played the first Ronald McDonald, frightening children from 1963 to 1966.

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