Monday, February 7, 2011

Moog Prodigy ad #2, Contemporary Keyboard 1980

Moog Prodigy advertisement #2 from page 67 in Contemporary Keyboard Magazine November 1980.

Moog, like most synthesizer companies, followed a standard format with many of their ads. It was usually some variation on: synth name -> lead headline -> photo -> ad copy. Like this 1976 ad for the Micromoog, this 1976 ad for the Polymoog, or this 1978 ad for the Multimoog.

But, then, around 1979, Moog started to have more fun with ads. For the Minimoog, they went minimal, while for the Prodigy and a few other synths, they went more... er... experimental... maybe 'different' (for lack of being able to think of a better word at the moment).

For the Prodigy's 1979 introductory ad, the bulk of the ad-copy is made up of dictionary definitions for "Prodigy" and "production control" - and it is only the last line that has any real Moog Prodigy info in the form of its price, and Moog address. I really liked it.

For the Prodigy's encore ad that appeared later on in 1980, Moog had even more fun, while also providing relevant technical information sorely missing from that initial ad. From the top down, this ad doesn't disappoint.

First, we have the name of the synth in an awesome font. Large. Bold. And directly underneath is the lead - "THE SYNTH HEARD AROUND THE WORLD".

And then Moog goes on to point out all the features of the Prodigy - IN THREE LANGUAGES. The meat of this ad is very reminiscent of Korg's beloved technical ads for the MS-20 and MS-10. But then again, there is only so many ways you can format this type of ad.

Finally, the bottom of the ad is divided into two sections. On the right is, not surprisingly, a LARGE Moog logo and their tag line "We're the people who started it all!". But, what you find on the left side is a little surprising.

Just like in the technical section of the ad, Moog decided to print three quotes in three different languages. English, French and German. So what's so surprising? The English quote is not from a U. S. magazine. Under some circumstances, this could have alienated CK magazine's U.S. audience, but the theme of the ad minimized this risk completely.

Another surprising thing about this ad - it is in black and white. By 1980, many of the big-name companies were printing in colour to make their ads stand out. And in this issue, those names included Oberhiem, New England Digital, Korg and Horner. But this Prodigy ad stands out for just this reason. And even more so since in this November issue of CK, it was placed directly across from a full colour Moog ad for the Opus 3.

And that pretty much sums it up. The fun thing about the Prodigy is that it always had to be a little bit different.

You can find most of my Prodigy brain-dump in my blog post for the first Prodigy ad. Not much more to add on that front. My infatuation with the synthesizer has died down to a normal level, but am still pondering the purchase of one.

Meh. Maybe next month... :o)

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