The 1990s brought both economic and social changes. The baby boom generation began to age and the size of families began to decrease with the decline of birth rates in the U.S. Immigrant and minority groups grew and new marketing segments began to emerge.
One of the biggest technological advances to date occurred in the 1990s…the Internet. This further fragmented audiences as consumers were not only given more control, but also more choices. During the 1990s, agencies began to transition and expand their capabilities in an attempt to combat an “unresponsive and ineffective” image. Advertisers cut their overall ad spend and began moving their spending from advertising to promotion. Advertisers and agencies sought the most effective media outlets (largest audiences) with the lowest possible cost.
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Integrated Marketing Communication
Integrated marketing activities (sales promotion, public relations, direct response, online services, Internet advertising) became a popular service offered by agencies. These activities soon became known as integrated marketing communication.
Internet advertising became popular with the launch of Hotwired in 1994. Hotwired charged sponsors a fee of $30,000 to place ads on its website for a total of 12 weeks. After the success of Hotwired, online service providers with large clienteles began attracting advertisers to their sites. By the mid-1990s, internet advertising spend reached $300 million.
Technology in the 1990s literally changed the face of advertising as consumers knew it. New computer software enabled marketers to enhance and alter images. This software was first used in nature and outdoor imagery, but as we would soon see, would progress into the enhancement and alteration of human subjects…