Thursday, November 24, 2011

Korg "Seven hundred and fifty words..." family ad, International Musician 1978

Korg "Seven hundred and fifty words..." 2-page family advertisement including 800 DV synthesizer, 700s synthesizer, Preset synthesizer, 770 synthesizer, Synthebass, Polyphonic Ensemble 1000 and Polyphonic Ensemble "Orchestra" 2000 from page 20 and 21 in International Musician and Recording World (UK) March 1978.

From the moment I read the title, this ad made me a little bit annoyed. Mostly because I didn't know what "flannelled" meant.

Let me save you the trouble: "Flattery or meaningless talk intended to hide one's ignorance or true intentions."

Okay. I keep reading....

Still annoyed. Mostly because once I found out what "flannelled" meant, I then found it ironic that most of the "750 words of fact" was doing exactly that - trying to hide Korg... er... Rose-Morris' true intentions - to sell instruments. But that's not so bad. That's what ads are supposed to do - sell instruments. I'm angry they were doing it so badly.

I get it. They were trying to play "educator" with readers. Make 'em feel like they are the experts by laying down some basic facts about sound, how it's produced and how heat affects tuning. Get all altruistic on 'em. But unfortunately it's written... it's written... well... it's written like *I* wrote it. Lot's of sentences that start with "And", "But", and "Because". More of a conversational or advertorial-like tone. Bad news is - I'm not so good a writer. I write at about a grade-two level with an even more limited vocabulary.  That's why I'm not a featured writer for Wired (Two words: dream job).

And what do you get when you try and cover up a bad sell job by hiding it behind 750 words of "facts" using grade-two level conversational writing - all written in a font size more at home in the Mr. Men/Little Miss book series? In my opinion - epic fail. It can almost be insulting to the reader. At the least it is confusing, and the end result is a two-page spread that actually provides very little value.

We, my friends, are the ones getting "flannelled". 

In fact, it's really only that second page that provides any real value. Could you imagine what an effective ad this would have been if the title had been "Two hundred and fifty words of fact about Korg synthesizers for the keyboard player who's tired of being flannelled". And then just included nice sized photos along with the basic facts about each of the seven instruments in a half-decent sized font.

Instead, the actual information on the instruments is squished into the far right of that second page in a font only an ant could read, with only a photo of a Polyphonic Ensemble and a Mini-Korg 700s.

Finally - those logos in the bottom right corner. I figured out the Rose-Morris connection with Korg - and will report on that in my next blog post, but what is with that Hohner logo sitting there too? I'm only starting to piece together that connection... but it is just too dang warm out. Unusually warm. And it won't stay that way for long.

So, logo connections will have to wait. Time to throw a snowball before it all melts.  :)

End note: Please note I'm not annoyed at the word "flannelled" - just that I didn't know what it meant. In fact, I think that word needs to make a come back with today's kids. Maybe get it positioned with the Occupy movement or something. Or slip it in with that Internet cat meme.

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