Although advertisements are meant to sell products, they can also provide insight into the state of science and technology at a given time. In 1872 lard oil was in demand for various uses. In 1922 consumers were eager for asbestos. What will people think 100 years from now about the goods and services being marketed today: credit cards, Facebook, smartphones that don't continuously assess all your bodily functions and cribs unable to teach babies multiple languages?
This article was originally published with the title "Your Ad Here" in Scientific American 326, 4, 83 (April 2022)