Non-profit organizations may use free modes of persuasion, such as a public service announcement.Advertising may also be used to reassure employees or shareholders that a company is viable or successful.Modern advertising was created with the techniques introduced with tobacco advertising in the 1920s, most significantly with the campaigns of Edward Bernays, considered the founder of modern, "Madison Avenue" advertising.
Lost and found advertising on papyrus was common in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome.
Wall or rock painting for commercial advertising is another manifestation of an ancient advertising form, which is present to this day in many parts of Asia, Africa, and South America.
The tradition of wall painting can be traced back to Indian rock art paintings that date back to 4000 BC.
In ancient China, the earliest advertising known was oral, as recorded in the Classic of Poetry (11th to 7th centuries BC) of bamboo flutes played to sell candy.
Advertisement usually takes in the form of calligraphic signboards and inked papers.
A copper printing plate dated back to the Song dynasty used to print posters in the form of a square sheet of paper with a rabbit logo with "Jinan Liu's Fine Needle Shop" and "We buy high-quality steel rods and make fine-quality needles, to be ready for use at home in no time" written above and below In Europe, as the towns and cities of the Middle Ages began to grow, and the general populace was unable to read, instead of signs that read "cobbler", "miller", "tailor", or "blacksmith", images associated with their trade would be used such as a boot, a suit, a hat, a clock, a diamond, a horse shoe, a candle or even a bag of flour.
Fruits and vegetables were sold in the city square from the backs of carts and wagons and their proprietors used street callers (town criers) to announce their whereabouts for the convenience of the customers.
The first compilation of such advertisements was gathered in "Les Crieries de Paris", a thirteenth-century poem by Guillaume de la Villeneuve.
Sponsors of advertising are often businesses who wish to promote their products or services.