If we believe the story, the grilled cheese sandwich was not created in a restaurant but rather by the J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency for its client, Kraft. Now known as JWT, it is America’s oldest ad agency, founded in 1864. The first Spam e-mail was not sent from JWT but rather from someone holding an open house for a new DEC computer. That was in 1978. It is not clear if Al Gore had invented the internet yet but even that first Spam message generated a bit of “discussion” about the appropriate use of a network. Meanwhile, if you love Christmas, you should thank the advertising world because before the 1830s, it was just another school and work day. The dawn of Christmas themed ads, heralded new thinking on the subject and eventually led to the holiday – allegedly.
These stories and more can be found in “The Ad Agency Bloodline,” an infographic tracing advertising and digital history. All of which brings to mind the increasing popularity of the word, “infographic.” Lately the infographic is like bling for the communication world. “Historians” even trace its origins to cave paintings. If only a cave man or woman could come back today and see what we’ve done with their invention. And do we owe them royalties for that? There are curious infographics, such as the one that compares Chelsea Clinton’s wedding to Kate Middleton’s, or the one that shows how sitting on our glutes all day is killing us. And, as with everything else, the bad ones are terrible and the good ones are – terrific?
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