This week, I got to go on a field trip with many of my classmates to the Communications Library to view an entire collection of old ads that the University of Illinois has acquired over the years. Many of these ads were in newspapers and magazines from the 1960s and before. I was able to see that advertising has changed so much since that time. I learned so much about the history of the industry that I am going to be a part of.
Old Coca-Cola Ad
Being able to go see such a large collection of ads from the past is what makes the advertising program at Illinois so special. It’s amazing that students here can be immersed in the history of their major in a way that is so up close and personal. Going to see these ads in person was an experience that elevated my own understanding of how the world of advertising is shaped today. Without understanding the past, we’ll never see the future.
Old Movie Ad
The class that had this field trip was ADV 393: Advertising and Society taught by Dr. Michelle Nelson. I highly recommend all advertising students to take any class that Dr. Nelson teaches here at Illinois. This is my second time being in one of her classes and she is a kind and fair professor who is passionate, insightful, and intuitive in her teachings about advertising.
No matter what major you end up pursuing, I hope that you get the opportunity at some point to see it through the lens of history. It is a fundamental part of what makes for a well-rounded education. Let the past shine a light on the keys to the future.