Friday, 14 March 2014

COMMERCIAL BREAK: Maxell Tapes - Break The Sound Barrier (1981)

Maxell just might be responsible for the most memorable TV ads for the blank audio cassette ever made. There was, of course the classic late 80's ad featuring a mishearing of reggae favourite Israelites. However, this particular one is arguably the best known, and was used internationally. Produced as a new decade dawned, it would provide one of the most iconic images of the 1980's

In this UK version, none other than Peter Murphy of Bauhaus slips one of Maxell's tapes into his deck, and enjoys a rendition of Mussorgsky's A Night On The Bald Mountain. Such is the superior sound reproduction, that... oh, play the ad and see for yourself...

This wasn't the first version of the ad, however. The original US version featured a different model and Wagner's Ride Of The Valkyries. Here, for non UK readers or curious Brits, is that first variant...

A silhouette of the guy in the chair, being blown away in stereo still occasionally adorns the packaging on Maxell products to this day. Also, unlike many of their rivals, the company never entirely gave up on the cassette format. As the humble blank tape enjoys a revival in popularity, this might prove a canny move... More at Maxell Europe's site.

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