Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Technical Research Institute Inc. Orchestron "Your Instrument of the Future" ad, Contemporary Keyboard 1977

Technical Research Institute Inc. Orchestron "Your Instrument of the Future" full page black & white advertisement from page 34 and 35 in the July 1977 issue of Contemporary Keyboard.

Although this is the third advertisement for the Orchestron, it has been more than a year since the last one appeared. And there's been quite a few changes during that time period.

The most obvious change is the company name. Technical Research Institute Inc. is now the company "committed to the development of a keyboard musical instrument that produces the sound of all acoustic & electronic instruments".

Sometime between the launch of the Model "C" series and the Model "D" series, the company either changed its name, was bought out or something. the fact that Vako has been wiped from the ad, but Dave Van Koevering's name still exists in the top right call-out box means that he must someone still be involved.

Some confusion must exist, because the Wikipedia page for the Orchestron has the Model "D" built under the company name "Viking Keyboard Systems" (apparently the new name of Dave VK's company) in 1975, and yet we know that Contemporary Keyboard's May/June 1976 advertisement for the Model "C" was still being sold under the Vako brand name.

But even if the company name had changed by then, this new advertisement clearly states that it's Technical Research Institute Inc. that is selling this instrument - not Viking.

There is obviously is a connection, because not only is "Viking Keyboard Instruments" mentioned in this new Orchestron ad, but this Orchestron ad is part of the centerfold spread, sharing it with none other than a Vikings ad (also scanned!). They even share the same address. But I'm a stickler for details... and just want to know how these companies were connected. I've sent an email off to Dave Van Koevering for an answer. Hopefully he will get back to me soon!

Other than the name change and some ad-copy changes, the two ads look very similar from a design point of view. But there is one thing that make me love this advertisement more than the last - THE WHITE SPACE! Just as I had hoped in my last blog post, continental drift had started to take effect, and you can see that as the different elements of the advertisement spread across the entire page, they also added in a wee bit more white space around the main title "Your Instrument of the Future". But it makes all the different from a readability perspective.

And, I love it!

End note: So, who exactly is Dave Van Koevering? He worked for Moog?

Yup. That call-out box in the top right-hand corner of the ad drops Moog's name and if you are at all familiar with Moog history, you will know his association. I found a good bio for Dave on the Moog Foundation's Web site, under 2012 MoogFest's "Moog is Now: Album Art"exhibit info:
"David Van Koevering is a lifelong colleague and friend of Bob Moog. He began working with R.A. Moog, Co. shortly before the Minimoog was first developed. When the Minimoog was released, and met with initial mild success, VanKoevering pioneered the sale of the instrument, opening the market from a few hundred instruments to several thousand. His marketing saavy, legendary within the industry, has led him to be referred to as the man who brought the Minimoog to the world.  The title of the event originates from a slogan that VanKoevering used in his marketing effort for the Minimoog in the 1970s."

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