We know how tempting it is to use your website as some sort of giant content container: a place to put any bit of copy a potential customer might find useful.

And, until quite recently, that was pretty much Google’s view too. Its search engine favoured sites that could boast an endless supply of “stuff”.

But for us that always set off warning bells. We knew that ads used to be filled with “stuff” too. Right up into the 1960s, copywriters were paid to cram in every bit of a benefit they could think of.

But then the advertising industry realised that simplicity and focus sold so much better than complexity and clutter. Soon, advertising became a powerhouse of energy, commercial creativity and sales effectiveness – a golden age that stretched from the 1960s right up until the 1990s.

The quality of advertising is now a shadow of its former self and the smart money all goes online. But remember that the internet is still very much in its infancy. No-one yet has any idea how marketing in this relatively new medium will evolve.

But one thing’s for sure:

Clutter, noise, and an endless stream of poor quality content are never going to help anyone sell anything more effectively.


VW advertising, before and after the invention of the internet


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