Thursday, November 25, 2010

Korg ES-50 Lambda Polyphonic Ensemble, Contemporary Keyboard 1979

Korg ES-50 Lambda Polyphonic Ensemble advertisement from page 9 in Contemporary Keyboard December 1979.


What a relief. After reacquainting myself with the Korg Sigma advertisements in my last blog post, I was pretty sure Korg had up-and-fired their old marketing company and decided to start using one of the VP's teen-age kids to do their ads. But, as you can see with this advertisement, Korg's ad agency is back in business!

So, why such a difference between the Sigma ads and this new ES-50 ad?

If you look back at those three Sigma ads (ad 1, ad 2, ad 3), you will notice they are distinctly different, not just from the Sigma ads, but from any other Korg ads that ran around the same time period. Ads like those for the MS-10, MS-20, and VC-10 were just so much more creative. Looking closely at all the ads, you will see the answer to this riddle lies in the contact info.

In the MS-10, MS-20 and VC-10 ads, and including this advertisement - the only distribution company mentioned was Unicord. But those Sigma ads included a large number of international companies, and in the first two ads, right at the bottom of the list of those companies (but separated by a line) is: "Keio Electronic Laboratory Corp. Tokyo, Japan". Turns out Keio Electronic Laboratory Corp. is Korg.

Side note: According to Korg's Wikipedia page, Keio's "fledgling offices were located near the Keio train line in Tokyo" and Keio can be formed by combining the first letters of the last names of Korg's two founders - Tsutomu Kato and Tadashi Osanai. How great is that!

And it gets better: "In 1967, Kato was approached by Fumio Mieda, an engineer who wanted to build keyboards. Impressed with Mieda's enthusiasm, Kato asked him to build a prototype and 18 months later Mieda returned with a programmable organ. Keio sold the organ under the name KORG, created by using the first letter of each founder's name plus "RG" from their planned emphasis on products targeted for the oRGan market".

Sorry, getting a little off-track.

Anyways, I'm guessing that Keio (Korg) paid for the Sigma advertisement production and placement costs. Unlike the other ads, including this one for the ES-50, that were probably created by Unicord's own Marketing peeps (and paid for by Unicord).

And a good thing too because I really like this ad when compared to the Sigma ones.

The ad title is fun and you know immediately what musician-based audience they were targeting. "At last, a synthesizer that doesn't sound synthetic".

The ad-copy provides the reader with useful information, and the Korg logo is placed nicely on the page with the new slogan "Korg - Does it for real". Not sure if that last part will catch on though... :o)

The angle of the photo is really nice as well, with a good view of the front panel.

But, I have to say, I kinda miss not having the Canadian distribution company on the ad.

Go Roughriders! :o)

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