Having a Problem

Advertising is a way to lead people to a solution for their problems and a way to get people to use the service. Million types of advertisement are displayed daily that bring forth various solutions to various problems, but  advertisement could also be used to gain leverage, share propaganda, and more. As you are reading this post some ads might follow you through. But what we are all wondering is how did people advertise in the middle ages? If I had the best service in the market zone I would strive to make it as easy as possible for new visitors to find me. This also applies to a  knight or a king, who in order to gain prestige he must brand himself to the public.

How to Display the Ad

Displaying the advertisement back then was really hard and it took some serious work. We shall start with the word of mouth method which has the biggest conversion rate. People often tell other people if they had a pleasant experience with a service or a product. This way you gain customers through other satisfied customers.

Singers were really spread out and they could add various words into their songs. Inside their songs they can create false advertisement for the current king, prince or even a knight. They can either sing for him or against him and they would promote him like this. This was a really interesting promotion method because if someone sang hero songs about you, people could love you.

Another form of advertising is through decorative banners, something like you see in the thumbnail picture. Streets could be filled with advertisement like this. This was mass advertising, and if you added these banners or decorations to the main street, then everyone would become influenced by them. In today’s terms this is called billboard marketing.

Public readings was also a way to spread word about someone or something, as well as the banners in the tournaments. The knights promoted each other by sharing recognition.

Architecture or painting your name on images was also an option. In ancient Rome, Augustus had a very famous statute that was displayed to the public multiple times, all the while his name was in there too . There are interesting articles over how he used it to manipulated the public with the details in it. Books can also be spammed with ads but only people who knew how to read could be advertised. As for the public, the art was the number one form of display advertisement. The Baroque period falls into this group.

As for the shops, they do what most of the shops are doing today… Adding a sign in front of their shop.


Medieval Spam: The Oldest Advertisements for Books