Monday, July 4, 2011

Moog "Fingers Burned" dealers ad, International Musician 1978

Moog "Fingers Burned" Authorized Moog Synthesizer Dealers 2-page advertisement from pages 98 and 99 in International Musician October 1978 (UK).

Update: added to the Moog interactive advertising timeline.

Friday, July 1 was Canada Day. That makes it a long weekend here in Canada.

To make blogging matters worse, it has been really nice out. I mean *really nice*. And lately, where I'm from, this is no doubt a limited time offer.

In other words, I hope to keep it short. And sweet. :D

And ain't this Moog dealers ad saaaa-weeeeeeet!

There is a lot of historical information packed into this ad - everything from authorized dealer and service info, to the promotion of Moog's new Multimoog.

When I first flip to this ad, my eye is drawn directly to that very hairy arm - even the fingers have hair. The creator of the ad obviously knew this could be a problem for people like me who lack body hair to such a large extent that we are fascinated with anyone that actually needs to shave once a day. So, in order to try and draw readers' eyes more towards the Moog logo, the designer gave it a splash of colour in an otherwise black and white ad. Nice try. :)

The layout is almost confusing at first, and placing the text such that it wraps around the photos normally doesn't help much. Give me nice clean columns any day. But in the case of this ad, bolded subheadings help package up the information nicely, especially on page one. Here, the headings convey the three key dealership messages Moog is trying to get across to those looking to choose a synthesizer - sound advice and the widest choice at the right price.

The second page of the ad gets a little more crazy, where Moog tries to mix some product promo and service tech info in with the dealership stuff. The addition of the product info became even more confusing to me when I read the advert index and found out that Moog included an "8 page loose insert" in this issue, that probably included information on the Multimoog anyways. Unfortunately, loose inserts rarely survive as long as the magazine, so I can't confirm this was the case. But I do know that if they didn't include the Multimoog info in this ad, the added white space probably would have made for a much more enjoyable and organized ad.

As mentioned above, one reason I find this ad historically significant is because it looks like this is the beginning of Moog's attempt at promoting a new "Authorised Moog Synthesiser Dealer" network. I say "beginning" because the advertisement is written in the present tense:
  • "We're training staff"
  • "Every Authorized Dealer will be stocking..."
  • We're training service staff at all our shops..."
So, if the way it is written is historically accurate, it looks like we are are witnessing the start of Norlin's organized attempt to expand it's reach into European markets through a dedicated network of dealers and service staff. Neat-o!

Another cool piece of reference information is the tag-line used with the logo - "the power and the glory". I seem to recall seeing this in some other Moog ads, although I can't put my finger on where, and I couldn't find it in any of the ads I've posted. I'm more familiar with the "people who started it all" or "another quality product from Norlin" tag-lines. When I read this one, my mind immediately connects it to it's religious reference. I guess if anything, it takes balls to try and nick it from the big guy upstairs.

I have to say I also dig the "European quality control seal", with the little check mark next to the "checked" in six different languages. How "international" is that?!

Surprisingly, this ad is not my favorite highlight in this issue of IMRW. It is actually the cover of the magazine issue itself.

In fact, when I first got this magazine, I remember I was a little surprised at what I saw on the front cover, until I remembered this magazine was from 1978.

It's a photo of Francis Rossi from Status Quo lighting a cigarette. Yah, you can kind of see he is holding a guitar, but the cigarette and match are definitely the focus of the photo.

I find it strange how sensitive I've become to smoking imagery. I see smoking so little in ads and movies now that when it does happen, I'm drawn out of the moment. Together with my ever-decreasing attention span, this has become a problem.

For example, I was watching the movie Reality Bites starring my girlfriend Winona Ryder the other day, and reacted to the copious amounts of smoking in that movie in the same way as this cover photo. I was literally pulled out of the movie experience every time a cigarette became visible. In fact, there is so much smoking in that movie that someone should make an anti-smoking drinking game out of it (honestly, I see the irony there, and the increasing problem of addiction in our society). Seriously, though, decades of anti-smoking efforts have ruined this film for me. But at least I still have the My Sharona scene - no smoking there.

Interestingly, my reaction to that cover photo wasn't the most surprising thing about all this. It was actually the surprise of finding an angry letter in the following issue of International Musician:
"As a guitarist and regular reader of International Musician and Recording World, I wish to register my disapproval of the front cover photograph for your October issue (Francis Rossi), which implies that cigarette smoking is fashionable and associated with musical success. I would like to point out that many non-smoking musicians dislike smoke-filled venues, that their health could be at risk through working in such places and that may smoking musicians who want to give up the habit find it more difficult because of the environment in which they perform...."
Although I find it surprising that someone spoke up against the photo back in 1978, I probably shouldn't be. I'm so old now that I always think that everything started just a couple of years ago - Earth Day: Didn't that start in 2009? Seinfeld: 2007? Star Wars: 2006? :D

But that "Smoking makes your teeth yellow/smoking makes your clothes smello" commercial probably is from the 70's, eh?

Yah - tried to find that commercial on YouTube... no-go. Anyone find it for me?

1 comment:

Afrodita said...

I am looking for the "Smoking makes your teeth yellow/smoking makes your clothes smello" commercial. Have you found it yet? please share

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