Okay, so while we wait for word to spread that the 808 ad we featured today came from 2016 London and not 1980 Japan, here are some real – and really genius – vintage synth ads. (Some of them no doubt inspired that London agency.) And thank you, YouTube, because these all warm our heart.
Korg’s Japanese POLY-800 ad features a dancing synth woman. She’s well ahead of her time: she’d look right at home getting into Berghain. (Though, of course, better would be playing Berghain.)
One tell with the supposed 808 ad (thanks, Tom) was that its production values were too high for 1980 Roland. But 1986 Yamaha spared no expense producing this TV spot for its DX100. It also makes it plainly clear why the company was in the synth and motorcycle businesses. (Answer: awesomeness.)
Not to be outdone, 1986 Casio saw Yamaha’s “stuff reflected in glasses” and “hyperbolic awesomeness” and raised it “chroma key keyboardist flying through space”, on the (much cheaper) CZ-101:
Casio also proved without a shadow of a doubt that synth-owning keyboard players are better than drummers. (Ducks)
Or, alternatively, 1986 Casio also wanted you to know you should just give up on those stupid drum kits, get electronic drums, and go head to head with amazing keyboardist women. (Yes, there’s a spot with Rufus the dog, but… uh, I’ll let you decide which is cooler.)
Let’s embrace that future, and not one in which barcode scanners replace humans and the world’s keyboardists are replaced by … chimpanzees.
No, no, no… really, we know how that nightmare scenario ends.
Fortunately, Casio also can teach you to play so you aren’t replaced by other primates:
And 1991 captured legend Herbie Hancock playing … okay, let’s be honest, probably the worst synthesizer I’ve ever seen him on film with (relatively speaking), the CT-670. (Okay, I’m sure someone out there has fond memories of the CT-670 … or, indeed, any memories at all. Apologies to you. You and the drummers.)
Perhaps the greatest synth ad of all time, though, is this spot for Schaefer Beer (who had the budget when Moog didn’t). Come for the Moog modulars, stay for the ridiculously perky song and … advocating drinking multiple beers in the studio.
Bonus ad: the greatest synthesizer compilation album ads are Danish synthesizer compilation album ads:
Actually, wait, no – Spanish. Definitely Spanish.
I’m sure we missed some. You know what to do – comment away.