Ancient Advertisements

Advertising plays a big part in many businesses, and that's not a new thing. For centuries people have worked to market their products or services and being creative is important if they want their company to stand out from the rest. Here are some ways that advertising was done in ancient civilizations.


Ancient Egypt was a bustling and thriving society, and as such they were rife with businesses trying to persuade people to buy their stuff. One of the ways they did this was by creating sales messages on papyrus, much like you'd see in advertisement papers today. In addition, papyrus methods were used by both the ancient Greeks and Romans to put out lost and found notices, and in Pompeii, political campaigns made use of it to support their governing authorities, while entire commercial campaigns were run on papyrus as well.

Wall Painting

Egyptians also designed large wall banners which worked a lot like our billboards today. These banners were carefully painted along walls where people could see them clearly and potentially be persuaded by their message, which was an advertisement. Rocks as well as walls were painted with advertisements in other parts of Africa, Asia and South America, where Indian advertisements from thousands of years ago have been discovered.

Word of Mouth

Ancient China holds the record of the earliest known advertisements, which were oral and involved the use of bamboo flutes being played to aid in candy sales, as well as oral stories told to persuade buyers. The Chinese were also fond of printing posters via a copper plate.

These are just some of the ways that ancient civilizations attempted to increase their sales. Advertising is a continually changing business that will be around as long as there are people trying to sell something.