Monday, February 8, 2010

Korg Sigma pre-launch ad, Contemporary Keyboard 1979


Korg Sigma synthesizer pre-launch advertisement from page 31 of Contemporary Keyboard Magazine June 1979.

This Sigma pre-launch ad appeared once in CK one month before the introductory ad I blogged about in my last post. Visually, I love the ad with its torn cardboard box corner that teases readers, giving them a glimpse of exactly what sets the Sigma apart from the competition - a performance machine with two joysticks. Plus, assuming it was intentional, Korg was wise to run both ads on *exactly* the same page of the magazine. I'm sure I'm not the only creature of habit when it comes to reading synthesizer magazines.

Even so, I don't think it built up the anticipation to the extent that Korg was trying to achieve.

The main problem is that this ad only ran once. A single well-placed full-page ad may work in 2010 with our info-at-the-speed-of-the-Internet lifestyle. But not in 1979. This ad should have ran for two or three issues to build up the anticipation more.

And the ad copy doesn't exactly create much excitement either:
"A completely new type of electronic music synthesizer is scheduled for marketing in your area. This highly versatile instrument is outstanding for live performance situations. If you are creatively inclined and eager to explore new fields of musical possibilities, be on the lookout for further announcements. Exciting innovations make this model worth waiting for. "
Seriously? "...scheduled for marketing in your area". That is supposed to get me excited?

Also, the Spec Sheet section at the end of the same issue of CK announces the Sigma - including the unique fact that it has two joysticks - the *only* thing noticeable in this ad. Maybe not everyone read CK front-to-back and would connect the dots, but I sure would. What a way to spoil the surprise. At least they didn't include a photo in the Spec Sheet section.

Finally, Korg was flooding CK with advertising during this time period. There were three other Korg ads appearing in CK during Sigma's pre-launch and intro-ad period (June and July 1979), including the very technical MS-20 and MS-10 ads, and the not-at-all-technical VC-10 ad.

A reader is either going to remember all four ads because they are a Korg-fanatic, or more likely, all that Korgmania is just going to get lost in a sea of gearporn.

Much like when I was growing up and hanging out in our local music store with a recently hired Keyboard guy named Jim (name changed to protect the innocent). He would read Keyboard magazines front-to-back, and then get all the facts mixed up from the different articles and ads.
"Did you read about the new Rhodes Mono/Poly? I heard it has the new sample-to-disk option but still has the patented Moog filter".
What?

Maybe you had to be there.

1 comment:

zenbecca said...

Yeah. I don't buy it. Not as someone who has witnessed the "careful hoarding of the original boxes" phenomenon. I know people who would cry to see that torn box. ;-)

I agree with you though. One teasing ad does not make for much of a build-up. And, once again, their copy makes me cry. (I can't believe you didn't mention the excessive caps in the title!)

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