What is Advertising, In This Crazy, Profit Based World?

netflix is a joke

What is advertising? Merriam-Webster defines advertising as; the action of calling something to the attention of the public especially by paid announcements. Oxford Languages defines advertising as; the activity or profession of producing advertisements for commercial products or services. It’s both and in today’s world, advertising is so much more.

Bulova: World’s First Television Advertisement

The First TV Advertisement

The first TV advertisement was broadcast in the US on July 1, 1941 on WNBT, a New York station. The advertisement was a 10 second ad for watchmaker Bulova, and was shown before a Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies game. The ad ‘Bulova Watch Time’, showed a mashup of their logo alongside the WNBT test pattern, so that it looked like the face of a clock. No one knows how much Bulova paid for the ad, but it is speculated that they paid upwards of $9 for the ad. A TV spot on a nationally televised baseball game, would cost several million dollars today.

The Boston News-Letter First

The First News Paper Ad

On May 8, 1704, a real estate advertisement selling a plantation on Oyster Bay is one of the first newspaper ads appearing in the Boston News-Letter. The ad appeared to be just another article, the same way advertisements today are shown on websites as just another article.

Advertising today has come along way, but still maintain the same ideas. Create a piece information that gets the attention of the audience. It could be in the form of “information” or it could be making fun of your own brand.


Netflix ran an ad in 2017 across the country. Hundreds of billboards read “NETFLIX IS A JOKE.” The ad campaign that Netflix teased with cryptic, minimalist billboards paid off September 17, 2017 during the Primetime Emmy Awards.

NETFLIX IS A JOKE Emmy’s Commercial

A commercial with the slogan “Netflix is a joke,” a 60-second spot was released hyping the streaming service’s expanding stand-up comedy events. The ad featured comics such as Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle, Ellen DeGeneres, and Chris Rock. All of these comedians had stand-up specials premiering on the streaming service. Creatively, the comedians appear in scenes from popular Netflix original dramas including “House of Cards,” “Stranger Things,” “The Crown,” and “Orange is the New Black.”

Traditionally, all of these ads run in line with what brands and advertisers have been doing for 100 years. Let’s talk about today. In the world of social media, search engines, streaming services, mobile sites and more, advertising has become segmented with brands.

Digital Platforms and Google

While, some brands work well on some platforms, and not so well on others. A brand looking for an audience in a younger crowd would have less success on Facebook, but more success on TikTok. On the other hand, a brand looking for an older audience might have better luck finding success on news sites. It all boils down to knowing your audience.

Google Home Page

Moreover, Google is where most brands find their audience today. For an everyday user, Google is the #1 place to find anything they’re looking for. In fact, as of January 2022 Google owns 91.9% of the “search engine” market share. Unlike, Bing being #2 has a dismal 2.88%, and Yahoo holds 1.51%. The 1,000s of other search engines on the web share the remaining 3%. There is no competition for Google with revenue in 2021 hitting $256.74 billion. Google gets an average of 6,696,000,000 searches every single day, That’s an average of 77,500 searches every, wait for it, every single second.

For these reasons, Google is the best place to find what you’re looking for. If you’re searching for a product, service, information, or if you’re searching for your audience, Google has the information you need.

Google Wants To Help

First, Google Trends is a great place to find out what keywords are trending in a specific area. Second, Google Analytics, when properly set up on any website can give an advertiser tons of knowledge about their site. Third, Adwords is a great place to build ads, find audiences, and advertise a brand. Fourth, Google Search Console is a way to improve your site’s performance. And last but not least, Google’s Site Speed Test should be the first thing an advertiser should check their site with. I use the site speed test every single day.

Google Site Speed Test

Mobile First

Furthermore, since mobile devices have dethroned desktop and laptop computers in terms of online access, it’s only natural that Google will also focus on mobile searches. Mobile First Indexing is Google’s target. 63% of all Google searches happen on mobile devices. Also, in order to rank on the first page of Google, the site needs to be fast. The Site Speed Test will tell an advertiser if their site is fast enough to rank. Both mobile and desktop scores on this test need to be above 90 and in the green.

In addition, The wonderful thing about this test is that it will line out everything that needs to be done to the site to be on top. 68% of companies that have a mobile-first website report an increase in sales. By the end of 2018, Google had applied mobile-first indexing to more than 50% of the pages shown in its search results. Since July 1, 2019, Google has been using mobile-first indexing for all new websites.

Considering the fact that there are over 2.47 billion Gen Zers, which accounts for nearly 30% of the total world population, this mobile-first initiative from Google is a smart decision. 45% of Gen Z teens have reported that they are “almost constantly” online, viewing content on their smartphones.

whybranded.com Site Speed Test

Google’s Site Speed Test

One of the first things a user notices about your website is how long it takes to load. The faster the site is, the happier the users are. The happier the users are, the happier Google is. More than 73 percent of mobile internet users claim that they encountered websites that take too long to load. The thought process is, if a site doesn’t load fast enough, then that user will bounce from the site. This is the reason why page speed is one of the most important ranking factors that determine your web page’s position in Google search results. 

Your web page should load in three seconds to get your user to spend as much time on your website as possible. Page speed optimization not only improves your rankings, but it makes for a better web experience for your user as well.   

What is Advertising?

Now that we got off on a tangent, I’ll try to wrap this up. In conclusion, Advertising is getting a brand in front of a consumer by whatever means possible (and legal). Traditionally, that can be done with billboards, radio, tv, news papers, and magazines. Looking ahead, this will be done digitally, sharing brands with individuals looking for a product, service, or information.

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