Monday, December 27, 2010

Oberheim holiday-themed family of products ad, Keyboard 1985

Oberheim holiday-themed family of products advertisement from the back-inside cover of Keyboard Magazine, December 1985.

I had mentioned at the end of a recent Keyboard magazine holiday gift subscription blog post, that these season-themed ads were "few and far between". But here is one good example.

Oberheim had pretty much taken over the back-inside cover of Keyboard Magazine starting in January 1984, and kept that advertising hot-spot well into 1988. Month after month, most of those ads had a very distinctive design- and this illustrated ad definitely didn't follow that style. In fact, that is one of the reasons it stands out so well.

Flipping through the December 1985 issue of Keyboard, I soon realized that it looked like this Oberheim advertisement was the only ad that referenced the holiday season. Keyboard Magazine itself had it's usual give-the-gift-of-Keyboard subscription-type ads and forms, but no other manufacturer or service seemed to try and jump on Santa's bandwagon sleigh.

But Oberheim goes full-on, splurging on a colourful illustrated back-inside cover ad that only seemed to have been used once that year. And they do it with a bit of humor too. Under the tag-line "Sounds of the Seasons", You've got cute Santa hands playing a... er... helicopter sounds?!?!

As the kids would say - LMFAO.

And, of course, cutest of all... the modified Oberheim logo with a Santa hat in the bottom left hand corner. Now, most branding experts will try and tell you to never mess with your logo. But, usually those Branding experts are referring to a full-on long-term logo/branding change (a la GAP fiasco). Short term changes such as the one above are harmless as far as I'm concerned. Especially if done with humor. Just look at the constantly changing Google logo on it's search home page. I doubt that has hurt their brand at all. Think of Oberheim as the Google of the synthesizer world at this point. So big that they didn't even have to include photos of their products in this ad. Everyone reading Keyboard knew what a Matrix 12 looked like. :o)

And with all those great Oberheim products available during the 1985 Christmas season, this is one family that I wouldn't mind visiting with during the holidays.

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