Monday, April 23, 2012

Oberheim OB-X "Evolution of a classic" colour REBOOT 2-pager, Contemporary Keyboard 1980

Oberheim OB-X "Evolution of a classic" REBOOT/2.0 2-page advertisement from page 38 and 39 in the November 1980 issue of Contemporary Keyboard.

Oberheim interactive advertising timeline updated.

Quite fitting, this ad.

No, really... as I write this, it just happens to be Earth Day around these parts. You know how I found out? Google has a lovely image of a dirt bed on it's Canadian search page that slowly animates into a fully bloomed multi-coloured flower garden. That's how I seem to find out about holidays lately. On Google. Last minute.

Heck knows I haven't heard much about Earth Day from traditional media. That is partly my fault since traditional media is playing less and less of a role in my life. Plus, I don't have a dead-give-a-way like a kid that would probably have brought home a sculpture made from used plastic cafeteria dishes and cups around this time.

What would I have done before Google? Actually, even before Google, I would have figured out it was Earth Day by forgetting to by-pass the annual traffic jam that takes place from all the cars trying to get to the festivities that occurs in our centrally-located park.

Ironic, I know. But this is also the city that "clear-cut" parts of our indoor domed plant conservatory (bolded for emphasis) made up of totally awesome exotic plants, to make room for fake gaudy Amazon-like statues for wedding photos. Yup. You heard that right. Clear-cut. Conservatory. No kidding.

IRL, I'm actually a bit of an eco-nut. My undergrad is a joint  Botany/Zoology degree in Ecology - yah, that's what the degree was called *before* there was such a thing as Environmental Sciences (now I'm really dating myself). I'm guess I'm just down on what Earth Day has come to represent. Boo me. But I will enjoy a nice bicycle ride and a free Starbucks coffee today, thank you very much!

Okay, enough complaining by the old guy.  :D

Anyways, what does Earth Day have to do with this ad?

Well, it was pointed out to me by fellow Oberheim fan and blog reader Jean-Marc that I had posted the black and white version of this ad that ran eight months earlier in the March 1980 issue of CK. But then I skipped over this colour version of the ad and mistakenly credited this OB-SX ad as the first colour ad by Oberheim! Gah!

Thank-you Jean-Marc! This OB-X ad now looks to be Oberheim's first colour ad in CK! 

So, then the question becomes - why would Oberheim recycle this ad, but switch from black and white to colour? Usually it is the other way around - run the ad first in colour to make a big splash, and then switched-out to black and white for the remainder of the ad-run.

The extra paragraph at the end of the ad-copy probably explains:
"Now with new patches! As of September 1st, OB-X's are being shipped with a completely new set of dynamic patches. OB-X owners, send your name, address and serial number of your 'X' and we'll send you a cassette of the new patches free. Send for a free catalogue."
 How excellent of 'em! And a good reason to make a big deal with a splash of colour right before Christmas. A very nice gift for current owners.

Then, as I studied the two versions of the ad more closely, there appeared to be even more differences than I originally thought.

One of the first differences I noticed was that the large photo of the opened OB-X is shrunk down a bit and angled differently to make room for the extra paragraph of content. But then I realized - THIS IS A TOTALLY DIFFERENT PHOTO! The caution sticker and the slightly different ribbon positioning is a dead giveaway.

And then... wait... THAT OTHER PHOTO IS DIFFERENT TOO!  You can tell Oberheim switched it out for an instrument with updated colouring - most notable on the left-side controls. And, this smaller photo is now positioned behind the larger photo, where in the original it was actually positioned on top.

So, as is the case with the marketing of recycled objects, even though something may first appear to made of 100 per cent original materials, in reality it is often necessary to bring in new bits and pieces. In the case of this ad, the original ad-copy, catchy ad-title and awesome 2-page layout were kept. Photos and extra ad-copy added.

And that is a good enough recycling effort for this Ecology major. Time to enjoy my bike ride and a cup of joe.

I know its now a day later, but think about the Earth a little bit more.

Give a hoot. Don't pollute. NOW I'm dating myself.   :D


Micke said...

Now that is a nice looking ad!

The computer interface on the OB-X was introduced at s/n 803601 (1st week of sep 1980)and if you take another look at the instrument pictured in this ad, you'll see that the computer port is mounted on the left end cheek. Strangely enough it isn't mentioned in the ad.


RetroSynthAds said...

Awesome observation!

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