10 CCOT Essay Topics on Advertising in Cultural History

Topics and ideas
Posted on November 7, 2016

Writing a continuity and change-over-time (CCOT) essay would be one of the more technical writing assignments or test every student will face. This is because of the three separate processes one must address during his or her write up to effectively draft a CCOT essay on a topic like advertising in cultural history.

This article was written to serve as a source of information to anyone working on a CCOT essay on the topic of advertising and its historical context. Therefore, it is important to explain the requirements of a CCOT essay while providing some important facts that will help you in drafting yours on the subject of advertising in cultural history.

A CCOT essay is one that tasks the writer’s ability to analyse historical changes and continuities that have shaped events in history and how these changes occur. When writing such an essay, one must consider the three important concepts that define an excellent CCOT essay. The first concept is analysing the starting point or status quo of the topic you intend to discuss, the second concept is identifying and analysing the changes that have occurred over time to alter the previous status quo and the last is discussing concepts that still remain similar or as they were over time. So this article will provide you with 10 facts that will help you write a CCOT essay on advertising in cultural history.

10 facts on advertising in cultural history:

  1. Advertising has been an effective communication tool over the years. The first recorded adverts where in ancient Egypt around 100BC and they were using papyrus to make wall messages. In 1704, the first paid advert was posted and by the 1900’s advertising in papers had become main-stream. Today, papers are still used in advertising.
  2. The invention of new media forms changed advertisement. The very first form of mass advertisement was the use of vocal speeches to advertise products and ideas to the public. The invention of the printing press in 1440 ushered in modern adverting while the invention of the Radio, Television and the Internet revolutionized advertising.
  3. The billboard is a fairly recent form of advertisement. The use of billboards as a medium to advertise items was developed in 1900 in the United States. Statistics show that there are approximately 368,263 billboards in the US and currently, approximately 10,000 are added each year.
  4. Advertising has continued to grow exponentially. Statistics on advertising in the US show that the advertising industry has continued to grow at an overwhelming pace. Records from 1880 put the advertising volume at $200million and by 1920 the industry had grown into a $3billion industry. This growth has continued as 2014 figures put advertising volume at approximately $100billion.
  5. Advertising has evolved over time. From the use of papyrus in ancient Egypt, advertising mediums have continued to change. In 1938, radio advertising received more patronage than paper for the first time. 1956 also witnessed the first pre-recorded advertisements due to the invention of the videotape. While in the 21st century, a new form of advertising known as viral advertising and the use of internet platform came to prominence.
  6. Advertising is successfully when being used for humanitarian activities. The use of advertising in creating awareness for non-profit organizations started in the 1960s. In 1970, the crying Indian advertisement by the Earth Protection Agency became the most popular humanitarian and it got 100,000 people to request population reduction booklets and helped reduce litter by 83% and kick started the Earth Day event.
  7. Sex has always been used to sell products. The sexualisation of women, men and other items as marketing and advertising techniques is not a new phenomenon. The 1800s were the first time naked women were objectified in adverts and this practice has continued till date. The 1911 Woodbury’s Facial Soap advert ‘A Skin You Love to Touch’ has been given the attribution of being the first ad campaign to explore sex in modern advertising.
  8. The Internet has been a boon for advertising. Use of the internet became main stream in the 90s and by 2000 statistics on online advertising showed that approximately $8.1 billion was spent on ads. The advent of faster internet connections and social networking platforms saw this number increase to $32 billion in 2011 and an estimated $70 billion in 2017. These changes have been attributed to the widespread use of smart devices by individuals around the world, free connection plans and consumer behaviour.
  9. The advertising demographic is constantly changing. The target audience for early advertisements were wealthy adults who could afford to purchase newspapers. With time, advertisements began to target the rich and poor, people of all race and children. Statistics show that over $15billion is spent on ads targeting kids and by 65 the average individual would have seen approximately 2million commercials.
  10. Advertisers have switched from targeting men to women. Early advertisements in the 18th century were targeted at men and they included public slave sales, cigarette ads among other consumer product. At the turn of the 19th century advertisements began to focus on women noting that they were generally the home keepers and decision makers when purchasing domestic items. Statistics in 2013, showed that magazines focused at women generally had 10 times more ads than magazines created for men.

These are some interesting facts we believe you can use in writing a CCOT essay on today’s topic. In order to provide you with more direction on how to develop your essay, two extra articles—discussing 20 CCOT essay topics on advertising in cultural history and how to write a great CCOT essay on advertising in cultural history—will be included as tutorial materials for essay writing. These articles will be well written to help you choose a topic and develop the chosen topic according to the CCOT guidelines provided in your assignment. So stay enlightened by reading the entire articles in this series on writing a CCOT essay on advertising in cultural history.


Reichert, T. (2003). The Erotic History of Advertising. Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books.
Lievrouw, L. (2004). What’s Changed about New Media Introduction to the Fifth Anniversary Issue of New Media & Society. New Media & Society, 6(1), pp.9-15.
Boddewyn, J. (1989). Sexism and Decency in Advertising. New York, NY: International Advertising Association.
Ljubicic, D. (2014). Has Internet changed anything in Advertising?. Management – Journal for Theory and Practice of Management, 19(72), pp.83-88.
Yoon, S. (2003). An Experimental Approach to Understanding Banner Adverts’ Effectiveness. J Target Meas Anal Mark, 11(3), pp.255-272.
Dutta-Bergman, M. (2006). The Demographic and Psychographic Antecedents of Attitude toward Advertising. Journal of Advertising Research, 46(1), pp.102-112.
Hess, M. & Doe, P. (2013). The Marketer’s Dilemma: Focusing on a Target or a Demographic?. Journal of Advertising Research, 53(2), pp.231-236.

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