What is advertising?

Do you know the etymology of the word advertising?

It didn’t come from Madison Avenue. It wasn’t born as the underwriter of mass media. It wasn’t iterated in a slide show presentation for a nascent CBS.

It comes from the Latin advertere, which means to turn toward.

It’s not a new idea. Advertising has been around for, well, forever. Bird do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it.

Everything is advertising. Jesus on a cross. Caesar’s profile on a coin. A peacock fanning its iridescent green and blue feathers for attention. It’s all advertising.

Public relations, graphic design, motion graphics, television commercials, radio spots, cinema trailers, posters, signage, carpets, architecture, the homeless guy hawking pirated movies. It’s all advertising.  Genes, cells, individuals, groups, species. It’s all advertising. Get over it.

Gaining attention is a biological (and some may say philosophical) imperative. Advertising is meant to make you turn toward it.

Odd when you think how much of it willfully makes you turn away.

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