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Advertising and Public Relations

Finding Advertisements and Commercials

Finding Advertisements and Commercials

Finding print and broadcast advertisements can be difficult and time-consuming. Here are a few strategies to help you find product, brand, and company advertisements using library and web resources. 

  • First, determine which years you want to find print or broadcast advertisements from.
  • Then, ask yourself which type of advertisements you are looking for. Do you want ads from magazines, newspapers, radio, television, the web or from social media?
  • Finally, make a list of products, companies, people, or brands you are interested in. 

Once you have this information, begin your research using the resources listed below. 

Resources

Below are books that may help you find ads from specific times in American history. You can find more books in the library catalog. Searching with keywords concering the company, product, time, or theme can be helpful. For example: 

Search (Coca-Cola AND Advertisements) or (World War II AND Bond Advertisements) or (1920s AND Advertisements) 

Magazines have advertisements from various companies, brands, and products. The type and quality of ads differ based on the publication. For example, magazines like Parents or Disney Family Fun will have more ads related to children's products and family friendly companies like Pampers diapers or Pixar Entertainment. While magazines like Vogue and Harper's BAZAAR will contain more ads for luxury brands and items like Jaguar sports cars and Cartier jewelry. 

You can find many popular magazines like these via the library catalog and a few of our online databases listed below. 

Below are resources for finding television and broadcast commercials. Try searching for the company or brand to start and then search by year or medium. 

Use the following databases to find current and historical newspaper advertisements. In ProQuest platforms, select 'Display Ad' under document type to search for print advertisements. 

Search these resources for internet media advertisements. Try using different combinations of key words including the medium, brand, and product names. Example: Search ((Facebook OR Social Media) AND Advertisements AND (Modcloth OR Clothing)) 

Use the following to find political and presidential ads and commercials. If you need help, please contact your librarian. 

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