Thursday, March 8, 2012

Oberheim OB-1 programmable lead synthesizer "Holiday '78" ad, 1978

Oberheim OB-1 programmable lead synthesizer  "Holiday '78"  1-page black and white advertisement from page 25 in Contemporary Keyboard December 1978.

Hey - check it out. It's my new fav!

This Oberheim advertisement oozes confidence. Tough. Simple. Effective.

The ad is printed on the page from edge to edge with a background that is black as night - and I tried to scan in as much of it as possible to keep all the elements of the ad in perspective to the magazine page size. Most awesome is that the front of the synthesizer is printed large enough on the page that you can still make out some of the control labels on the instrument. And the name of the instrument.

And that logo! It makes my knees week. Which reminds me...  I still have to make a tattoo appointment at some point in the near future. :D

The larger circle behind the OB-1 is really just a duplication of the circle in the Oberheim logo, but as a whole, to me the design resembles a very modern Christmas wreath - which makes sense since this ad seemed to only appear once in the December 1978 issue of Contemporary Keyboard. Not sure if that was intentional or not, but it makes this ad even cooler than it already was.

Okay, the circle also makes me think of anything mod-related. And that London Underground logo. Pretty sure *that* wasn't Oberheim's intention.  :) 

The only thing that lets this ad down is the small writing at the bottom. I just don't think Oberheim needed to include it. Much like the name "Oberheim" itself, by this time Oberheim's visually striking logo was already a legend, instantly recognizable throughout the world of synthesizers. So, unless that $1,895.00 price tag was a significant drop from the past, I just don't see a reason to include this information. 

This was hardly the first ad for the OB-1. We had already seen the OB-1 in its own introductory "Programmer technology in a lead synthesizer" ad in late 1977 as well as a guest appearance in that 360 System "Live Performance" Slavedriver ad from early 1978.

I guess my point is that the imagery used in this ad stands on it's own. No text required. But in the big picture of things, that text is such a small detail that I don't think it takes away from the overall effectiveness either. 

In fact, I'm gonna throw it out there that this ad is on par with those two similarly ballsy Minimoog ads that I'm always going on about. Those two ads (below) included minimal text as well, letting the recognizability of the instrument speak for itself.   

Incredibly, before now, I've never noticed that this Oberheim ad showed up in CK *BEFORE* these two Moog ads - which as far as I can tell started to appear in Contemporary Keyboard in  July 1979 and September 1979, respectively. 

That first Minimoog ad is still my favorite though because Moog didn't even have to show the front of the synth and *everyone* still recognized the ad's feature piece of gear based only the font and the form-factor of the synth alone.  

But still, I gotta bow down to Oberheim's ongoing coolness! 


'Nough said.

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