Advertising Information and Communication Technologies Over Time: An Analysis of Text and Visual Complexity
8 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2021
Date Written: June 15, 2021
In this paper we study how Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have been advertised over time. More specifically, our research objective is to explore and reveal how ICT advertisements have changed over the last 121 years, adapting ad technologies and content to diffuse innovations from niche into mainstream markets. We do so by using machine learning approaches to identify relevant ICT advertisements in a data set of historical print ads ranging until 2014. We find that first, the diffusion of different ICTs in advertising differs. For example, while the fax was heavily advertised during a short period of time, the typewriter or TV were advertised for a prolonged time. Second, we show that ICTs tend to be characterized by relatively complex advertisements, with content-rich images and more words. This is especially true in the beginning of the product lifecycle of new innovative ICTs but less so towards the end.
Keywords: ICT, print advertisements, complexity
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation