Advertising is not a solely modern phenomenon; archaeologists have discovered 4,000-year-old adverts in Egypt. Of course, the Pharaohs didn’t laugh at TV commercials or see billboards with prominent celebrities touting exquisite fragrances. But market criers from Alexandria to Thebes were vehemently and eloquently promoting their treasures; Semitic merchants were chiselling product lists in stone tablets two thousand years ago. With the invention of the printing press, and later radio, TV and the Internet, advertising took on an entirely new dynamic, reaching millions of people around the world at the touch of a button. Just as in the past, advertising is still a matter of taste, reflecting society in its respective era, but with a single goal: promoting sales.
Václav Klement and Václav Laurin recognized the importance of advertising very early on. In 1895, when they laid the foundation for one of the world’s oldest manufacturing companies, they first advertised their innovative bicycles, then motorcycles. This was the beginning of several exciting developments from the pioneering period, through two world wars, the colourful 1920s and the Planned Economy and TV spots, up to modern viral clips on Internet. The company always knew how to capture the zeitgeist perfectly. That gives us a good reason to travel once again through the colourful history of ŠKODA advertising.