Monday, June 17, 2013

Garfield Electronics Mini Doc "When Your Automatic Drummer .... Isn't..." ad, 1984

Garfield Electronics Mini Doc "When Your Automatic Drummer .... Isn't / And Your Sequencer ...Won't." full page black & white advertisement from page 41 in the February 1984 issue of Keyboard Magazine.

I last blogged about Garfield Electronics back in 2010 when I featured their Dr. Click introductory advertisement as well as their more descriptive follow-up ad. Together, those two ads ran from December 1982 to January 1984 before this advertisement took over. And this advertisement would continue to show up monthly through to June 1984. Five months - not a bad run.

So, why the renewed interest? Well, about a week or so ago, I blogged about one of Garfield's rather unknown competitors - the Polysync Rhythm Controller by Byter Incorporated. And in that same issue was this advertisement for the Garfield Mini Doc. Next thing I know I'm digging through old Doctor Click posts to play catch-up.

I don't want to spend too much time on the specifics/differences of the Doctor Click with the Mini Doc - I just don't have the time to do the comparison. And Jon Sonnenberg through his Art of Travelogue blog has already taken care of that dirty business in a small but well-writing post from back in July 2012. Click on the "About" tab on his blog and you will learn his band has opened for The Human League, Pink Dots, Anything Box, Solvent and others. Nice resume! Go Jon!

Why didn't I have the time to compare the two? BECAUSE I'M TOO HYPNOTIZED BY THAT AWESOME ARTWORK.

You might not be aware, but I'm a sucker for great artwork in a synth advertisement. Just click on the label "artwork" at the end of this blog post to see some other great artwork featured in ads on the blog. Some of the more recent Retro Synth Ads blog posts that have included ads with great artwork include those from Boss and the Yamaha Producer Series.


Go further back and you will find great artwork companies big and small, such as ads for Sequential Circuits, Dennis Electronics, Oberheim, Korg, and Octave. All brilliant in their own way. And they all should have somehow found their way onto t-shirts.

This is the first time we see artwork from Garfield and I'm excited by it. What is interesting and different about the artwork for this Garfield Mini Doc ad is that it DOESN'T actually include the Mini Doc itself. In most if not all of those other company's advertisements, the gear for the most part plays centre stage in the artwork - on its own, being played by musicians or personified in some way. But not here. Garfield does include a photo of the Mini Doc, as well as it's flagship Doctor Click, but its rare indeed for a company to spend money on artwork that doesn't include their own gear.

And I love how all the gear in this advertisement are angry at each other - it's only a matter of time before a battle royal breaks out. I'm pretty sure the artist even seems to have used real instruments as models - I think I can make out a Roland TR606, Oberheim DX and a Drumulator (?) drum machine. I am a little disappointed that none of the keyboards look more like old synths with lots of knobs.

Unfortunately, as is often the case with advertising artwork, there is no artist's signature hidden away within the drawing.

Or at least my old (and grouchy) eyes couldn't find it.   Maybe the next ad...  :)


Shane Plante said...

Dude, I love this blog... almost as much as I love synthesizers. THANKS for archiving these. It's completely blowing my mind.

translucent_nick said...

I always loved this funny comic ad with the grumpy machines!!!

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