100 years ago, the 4A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies) was founded as a national trade association to represent U.S. ad agencies. These days, they give counsel to members on everything from new business to best practices to media transparency. As the leading authority representing the marketing communications agency business, the 4A’s provides leadership advocacy, research, database information and training that empowers agencies to innovate, evolve and grow. That’s exactly what the 4A’s has afforded us during our 27 years as members. And, we are one of only two 4A’s shops in Tampa.
From famous ad campaigns to cultural movements, the association has put together a robust and wonderful trip through nostalgia in the form of a timeline capturing moments that stand out over the last 100 years. The overview is nicely divided into sections starting with “Behind The Scenes.” For this segment, the 4A’s interviewed industry thought leaders to showcase more than twenty stories behind some of the biggest moments on their timeline. The “Cameos” page pays tribute to popular figures that have been popping up in advertising since it started. Some of the best cameos from famous people over the last 100 years are captured.
The “Characters” portion includes some of the most memorable characters in advertising history, from the hilarious swagger of the Old Spice Man’s Man to the awkward charm of PC vs. Mac. We were pleased to see an entire area devoted to “Design” to help mark the moments that made design a lasting influence in advertising as far back as Uncle Sam. When pivotal historical and cultural moments collide with brilliant creative minds, we get advertising that better reflects our society. The “Diversity” section captures some of those moments. Groundbreaking milestones are documented in “Firsts” that helped make advertising what it is today. From laugh-out-loud lines to totally “out there” characters, “Laughs” includes some of the funniest moments in advertising that still resonate today.
Great copywriting is showcased in “Lines.” From “Just Do It” to “Where’s the beef?,” some lines just stick. This section tells the stories behind a few of the greatest lines in advertising. Love them or hate them, jingles have been a staple of the ad industry, cementing favorite brands in our collective memories. The “Music” part lists some of advertising’s greatest hits. From the launch of the World Wide Web to the very first use of “bullet-time” (it wasn’t in that famous sci-fi movie you’re thinking of), these are the moments in “Tech” that changed us forever. Finally, we’ve come a long way in 100 years. The “Women” segment celebrates the evolution of how women have been portrayed in advertising, as well as key female figures who’ve shaped the ad industry.
To explore the 4A’s 100th Anniversary Timeline, click here: http://www.aaaa.org/timeline/