Monday, December 5, 2011

Korg "A universe of sound" family of synthesizers ad, International Musician 1978

Korg "A universe of sound" family of synthesizers ad including MS-20 Monophonic Synthesizer, SE-500 Stage Echo, VC-10 Vocoder, MS-10 Monophonic Synthesizer, SQ-10 Analog Sequencer, PS3300 synthesizer, PS3100 synthesizer, GT6 Guitar Tuner, and EM-570 Echo Mixer from page 16 and 17 in International Musician August (UK) 1978.

 Hello! Now were talking!

Rose-Morris is really starting to kick it into high gear - and it didn't hurt that Korg had something new to talk about - most excitingly the MS-10 and MS-20 synthesizers, as well as the VC-10 Vocoder. IM readers started hearing about these instruments in August 1978, but readers of Contemporary Keyboard wouldn't start gazing at these instruments in Korg ads for another three months ( November 1978).

But, in my opinion, it would be worth the wait since those US ads consisted of those awesomely recognizable one-pagers that ran for an insanely long number of months. These ads would eventually make it into IMRW, but not until March 1979:

Like I was saying - this 2-page ad is a treat. Gone is the often crowded text found in the two previous IMRW ads - "Seven hundred and fifty words..." and "Synths for all the music you'll ever need".  The font is still a little small, but that is a small price to pay for a bit of white space. Aaaaaaah - room to breathe.  Each new instrument is given it's own little space with a sub-title, paragraph box and photo.

If I hadn't seen the ad, but heard the title was "A Universe of Sound", I would almost expect someone to take the easy road and plaster this ad with space imagery. But no! Three big cheers to the designer for maintaining some level of dignity. I'm thinking maybe they learned a lesson from that earlier Korg accessories "Do you feel locked in..." ad.  :)

Also really interesting is how Korg is starting to take on a more dominant position in these ads. Korg products are starting to gain recognition and respect with readers, and so it makes sense that ads would want to take advantage of this. For example, the Korg logo is starting to get relatively larger in relation to the size of it's distributors logos. You see it in this Rose-Morris ad, and you also begin to see it this side of the pond in the Unicord ads. Compare them to earlier Korg ads where the distributors have equal billing or even a larger presence than Korg. Yikes.

I'm hearing it already - "A-ha! But in that last ad example, the word 'Korg' in the background of the ad is larger!". But I would have to reply that the word "Korg" and the logo-type "Korg" are two TOTALLY different things. And I'm sticking to that story :)

The other thing I find interesting is that even though this ad is promoting its new line of synthesizers, the PS3300 and PS3100 are still getting a nod. Including these older machines may not have been a good call considering all that new juicy Korg goodness that was also been promoted, but in defense of the ad, I'm guessing these older synths were either worth mentioning because they had already gained some good cred among musicians, or they needed an extra push because they weren't selling too many of them.

Similar to the last Korg ad in IMRW, this ad was also part of a Rose-Morris advertising feature that spanned a series of pages. If you recall from the last ad, Rose-Morris didn't do a very good job of distinguishing their set of ads from the rest of the mag. But this time, they started off the feature-set of ads with this awesome photo:

That was a great splash of colour and a great lead-in to the Rose-Morris stable of products that followed.

Rose-Morris is definitely on a roll. And if you can believe it... it's gonna get even better!  :)

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