Monday, April 8, 2013
Roland Saturn SA-09 "The Hot Sound of the Saturn" full page colour advertisement from the front inside cover of the July 1980 issue of Contemporary Keyboard.
This was the last Roland ad of in this campaign series. And unlike the other ads in this series that saw only small, inconsistent runs for the most part, this Saturn SA-09 advertisement ran consistently through the second half of 1980 - July to December. And always in that most excellent front inside-cover position. Not too shabby.
Roland had taken over that front inside cover position only two months earlier with the Jupiter-4 ad from this same series (see below for image) running in May and June, before handing the reigns over to The Saturn.
[Side note: Roland would keep the front inside cover position pretty much exclusively until February 1983. That's almost three years. Not a bad run for Roland.]
This SA-09 advertisement is slightly different from the previous ads in the series. It's all subtle, but still significant. First, Roland decided not to put the name of the synth at the very top of the ad, instead using 'Roland Presents".
Secondly, Roland decided to switch up the background of the photo to be more "hot" looking - a carry-over from the ad-title no doubt. Its almost like there are embers glowing underneath the keyboard. All the rest of these ads featured very solid, subdued colours, with a very subtle slight shading or glow.
But the big news to me has to do with the Saturn SA-09 keyboard itself. In particular those lovely Roland buttons in beautiful bright red, yellow, white, green and blue! You can find similar colours tucked underneath the keyboard on the Jupiter-4, but this time Roland proudly displays those colours right on the front panel. There isn't a lot of them, but its a start.
When I think early-80s Roland, I think of those buttons. Those are pretty much the colours that appear in my dreams whenever I'm lucky enough to have caught up on my sleep and hit REM. Similar buttons can be found on Roland's TR-808, Jupiter-6 and Jupiter-8. I associate this button style so closely with Roland that I went into a kind of confused state when I first came across Korg's X-911 guitar synth. Those do look like Roland buttons, don't they!?!?
I also really like this ad because Roland acknowledges New Wave music. Sure, they talk about it kinda like grandparents, adding a "the" in front of it. Kinda like "Hey son, have you been on the Twitters today?" or "Use the Google to find out that info". Yeah yeah... not really, but that is how I read it in my mind. The fact that this new music style is being acknowledged can only be a good thing.
Roland actually went even more "pop culture" on our asses earlier in this ad series when they dropped "squadron of Cylons" out of the blue in that Vocoder Plus ad. Reading it today immediately puts the ad into it's historical perspective. And made me happy.