Flyer printing is a genius marketing invention. The printing press is, of course, one of the inventions that almost immediately changed the entire nature of human interaction. Yet flyers printing is the sort of thing that is less obvious.
There are a number of technological advancements that immediately had a huge impact on how things worked. The earliest examples are the most obvious, of course. Learning to cook our food in order to aid digestion changed the way we dealt with our nutritional needs. The invention of the wheel entirely changed transportation, both of people and of goods. And of course, the printing press completely changed how we imparted knowledge and wisdom to later generations.
Yet there are some technological advancements that had a subtle, yet inarguable effect. No one had any idea what sort of effect the Winchester repeating rifle would have on the world, yet it's inarguable that it completely changed the concept of warfare and personal defense. There are a number of inventions like that throughout history. They may not have seemed like a big deal at the time, but when you look back on how they affected things, you can tell that they completely changed the way things worked.
Amongst these inventions is flyer printing. The printing press is, of course, one of the inventions that almost immediately changed the entire nature of human interaction. Yet flyers printing is the sort of thing that is less obvious. If you're not aware of the nuances and contexts of the advertising industry, you may consider the printing of flyers as nothing more than another aspect of being able to print multiple things quickly. Yet it's so much more than that. To limit flyers printing down to the idea of "just another aspect of mass printing" is to completely ignore the impact that it's had on the entire advertising industry.
When you're trying to understand the impact on the advertising industry that flyers printing had, you have to understand precisely what the mass printing of flyers could do. Before there were companies that would print flyers in mass numbers, an individual advertising agency had to work to get as many people to see as few ads as possible. They would do this in a number of ways, from posting a single advertisement in the town square, to simply attempting to invoke word of mouth information. Yet even though advertisers managed to make due, it was rough going. There are only so many ways you can make people see an individual advertisement, after all.
These days, however, hundreds or even thousands of flyers can be printed up at a moment's notice. This means it's much easier to be able to blanket an entire area of town with the information you're trying to get to people. No longer do you have to concern yourself with whether or not people will notice the one area where you could post up your flyer. You can instead post up flyers in store windows, on car windshields, in mailboxes, or just about anywhere that you could easily place a simple sheet of paper. This allows you to reach a huge number of people much more easily than you ever could before the mass printing of flyers.
If you're not an advertiser, you may not realize how important of a change this actually is. Yet if you have any idea of how advertising works, you can already see how important of a change this is. It allows you to reach more people in a shorter amount of time. And advertising is nothing if not being able to reach as many people in as short a time as possible. Thus, the mass printing of flyers may well be the most important leap in advertising technology that ever came around. To think otherwise is to deny the entire essence of flyer printing in history.