Monday, January 25, 2010

Octave Electronics Inc. CAT SRM advertisement, Contemporary Keyboard 1977

Octave Electronics CAT SRM advertisement from page 41 of Contemporary Keyboard Magazine December 1977.

This ad ran in CK magazine for four months starting in December 1977, introducing a new updated CAT model - the "SRM" (Series Revision Model). After the ad's last appearance in the March 1978 issue, it looks like Octave Electronics took a 16 month break from advertising anything in CK magazine, with a new ad not appearing until August 1979.

The previous CAT ad showed up only once in the November 1977 issue of CK. And if you recall, it wasn't one of my favorites. But, obviously some designer back in 1977 agreed with my reasoning, and solved many of the problems with that previous ad.
  1. The tag line is of a reasonable length: The CAT "SRM" Synthesizer - now with 2 note memory. Simple and clear.

  2. The text size has been increased a bit - and I think there is even a bit more room between the paragraphs.

  3. No white-space abuse here. The white space between the title, photos, ad copy and logo footer are spread out creating a more balanced feel. In addition, the designer has incorporated a light gray background to frame the ad better on the page - unlike the previous ad where everything just kind of floated on top of the white page.
The one problem this ad didn't solve, and that NONE of the CAT ads have managed to do so far, is SHOW ME A CLOSE UP OF AN ACTUAL CAT SYNTHESIZER. Come on! Do you really think a real-life CAT synthesizer made it up to the local synthesizer shop in my little Canadian town?

Instead of a close up shot of a CAT SRM, we are treated to some much cleaner action shots of David Burns of 'Burns, Renwick & Rags' - or as PINWIZZ calls them in a comment he left in the last CAT ad post: synth-hero photos. Unfortunately, by the looks of the back panels of the CAT synthesizers, I think he is playing two original CAT synthesizers - not SRMs.

But, do you think the fans of David Burns would have notice something like that back in 1977 when viewing this ad? And does it really matter since the CAT and CAT SRM look almost identical?

Nowadays, it would matter. Many fans are gear-heads and will comb through musician's action shots and videos at a micro level to try and figure out what old and new gear is being used. Often the gear used is as important as the musician using/endorsing it. But are we focusing too much on the good gear and not enough on the good artists?

Just askin'...

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