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How Has Outdoor Advertising Changed Since 1942?

Posted on the 27 September 2011 by Thehangline

Bill Posters from General Outdoor Advertising Documentary

My buddy Joe pointed me to this documentary (link below) created in 1942 by General Outdoor Advertising in Chicago. It’s amazing to see that things haven’t changed much in outdoor since then. Technology and processes have evolved, but at the core is the philosophy that people spend a lot of time outside their home and therein is the opportunity to reach them through advertising. The creative in this film is laughable by today’s standards. Lots of puns and -er words (fresher, better, bigger).

One major thing that stood out to me was how they got traffic counts in 1942. No electronic systems sent to some computer miles away, just this dude standing at an intersection with an analog clicker.

Traffic Counter from General Outdoor Advertising Documentary

And here is the entire documentary. It’s 20-some minutes long but worth a look at a gem of our industry’s history.

Link to General Outdoor Advertising Documentary (1942)

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