Commercial and Marketing Campaigns: Then and Now

Like most aspects of society, technology has impacted the way companies promote their products and services. Printed ads have evolved, as have the commercials that have adapted to the most popular media forms of the time. We’ve gone from print to radio and television before the internet came in and essentially became the main form of media. Let’s explore this ongoing evolution and look at some iconic campaigns from history. We’ll be paying close attention to the gambling and gaming industries.

You need a special campaign to set yourself apart

Online casino gaming is an industry where organizations have a lot of competition. As a result, providers will want to make themselves stand out from the crowd. One of the best examples of this comes from Paddy Power. It is a company that has a vast array of products and services. They have sports betting for almost every competition on the planet. It’s the promotion of Paddy Power Games where their marketing team really shine. Their campaigns have even involved the likes of soccer icon Jose Mourinho.

They aren’t the only company within the industry to have used a sports star in their promotional material. William Hill has had a longstanding relationship with boxer Anthony Joshua. One commercial from 2019 went in an artistic direction with its style and was praised by many marketing experts for being a little more sophisticated in the promotion of gambling.

In addition to creating a memorable commercial and marketing campaign, every business now knows the benefits of a business having a strong social media profile. Many companies spend an insane amount of money trying to get this right. Many will look for good examples of this, and they don’t need to look far beyond the company’s rather clever use of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. They have developed a cult following for their social media posts alone. There is a lot of thought going into this strategy, and for them, it has been worth the time and effort.

Commercials before the Internet

Before everyone was online, organizations tended to opt for commercials in printed media such as magazines and newspapers. If you head back to 1742, you will see that the General Magazine from Benjamin Franklin started to become responsible for what was seen as a more professional approach to printed advertising.

In 1920, another form of advertising came to the forefront with the launch of commercial radio. Eventually, when television became more commonplace, this became the first port of call for many marketing and commercial directors, but many still believe in the effectiveness of radio commercials.

Once television commercials became commonplace, there were several memorable campaigns over the proceeding decades. Who can forget the Volkswagen commercial (watch below), or how about Budweiser Wassup and that Wassup line from the 1990s? That particular commercial was so popular, that it was even relaunched in 2020 in a very different era.

Right at the cutting edge of advertising was Apple, when its Super Bowl commercial advertising the original Macintosh computer ran. It was a futuristic-themed clip inspired by George Orwell’s ‘1984’, and was directed by Ridley Scott. The commercial created huge interest immediately, and Apple sold $155 million worth of Macintosh computers in the three months that followed. While the Internet technically began in 1983, we’ll allow this one as the world wide web was hardly capable of video streaming.

How to create publicity and awareness

Throughout the history of commercials and advertising, organizations have liked creating controversial campaigns that test the adage that all publicity is good publicity. Being known as a fun and quirky business can have many other benefits. It could be considered a way to build brand loyalty. One expert has said that the benefit of a quirky campaign is the product or service tends to stick in the mind. However, others have suggested that not everyone has the same sense of humor. This interesting article from Forbes explores the pros and cons of controversial marketing. Ultimately, only the consumer themselves knows how much a particular commercial or campaign has impacted them.


Many bookmakers and casinos have also opted for sponsorship deals as a way to improve brand awareness. If you travel to the United Kingdom, Ladbrokes has sponsored several sporting competitions like the Scottish Premier League throughout its history. Almost half of the English Premier League has sponsorship agreements with casinos and bookmakers.

Looking at the benefits of sponsorship, some have argued that it provides access to a massive group of new customers or investors in your product and can often generate huge exposure. Using the example of sport, a good sponsorship can enhance the fans’ own experience. For example, a betting company partnering with a sports team might allow the punter to place a bet on their chosen team, player or event whilst watching live in the stadium or arena.

What does the future look like?

As consumer habits continue to change and evolve, organizations will have to adapt their message and platforms to engage with the correct audiences. Many have suggested that data-driven campaigns will be the future. This is something that is already prevalent and will only be expanded upon in the future. Ultimately, nobody knows how commercials will look in the future. Perhaps, only they will remain integral to a strong marketing campaign, and directors across the world will continue to spend time and money making sure they have maximum impact.

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