The Best, Biggest Bargains on Record!

Warner CoverWarner/Reprise Records took a bit of a risk in late 1969/early 1970. Not only did they offer double LP comps for only $2 (at a time when single LPs went between $4 and $5), but also their “The best, biggest bargains on record!” campaign promoted exclusive albums at insanely discounted prices that were only available via this innersleeve. AND, as if that weren’t enough, their ingenious, cunning, and dear I say crackerjack copywriters presented this financially hazardous campaign with the youthful exuberance found only from the likes of Peggy Olson.

Here are a few examples of how fascinating “The best, biggest bargains on record!” campaign is, including, but not limited to, jokes and sarcastic dialogue (dialogue, from an insert?):

– Offering a coupon printed on the sleeve itself, Warner/Reprise suggests that the protective sleeve that was provided in a previously purchased Warner/Reprise album be destroyed and used to order more records.

– “To expedite your order, and to foil the fools in the mail room…”

– “Dear Fat Cats: Yes, please send…”

– “We can get away with that low price because these celebrated artists and this benevolent record company have all agreed not to make a profit on this venture.”

– “If our Accounting Department were running this company, they’d charge you $9.96 for each double album. But they’re not. Yet.”

– “If you want them (indeed, how can you resist?) you have to…”

– “If you’re as suspicious of big record companies as we feel you have every right to be…”

Warner BackIn closing, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when the idea for this campaign was introduced. I would have loved to have witnessed the look on the faces of Warner/Reprise Execs, and I would have loved to have shaken the hand of this campaign’s mastermind. (I would also love to pay only $2 for a double LP!)

Post #60: The Insert that Stopped Time (If Only Briefly)

'59 Insert_SmallerThe curious reader asks, “Hey P. Groove, why wasn’t this fine looking insert from ’59 YESTERDAY’S post topic?” I’ll tell you, inquisitive peruser of yesteryear gems… and it may, or may not involve Don Draper.

Thank Artie Shaw and his 1958 album, A Man and His Dream, for this Madison Avenue beauty. A modern approach to selling a catalog of varied taste, this insert, with its subdued album-stacking design, pushes the consumer’s focus to its center, where we find the two, overlapping numbers of illuminating nobility: 59. This eye-grabbing approach renders an immediate connection between that number’s meaning (the year), and the everyday existence of this album’s original buyer. To look at this insert in 1959, is to self-reflect on the years that preceded it, and to project future hope into the years that follow. In other words, this insert stops time for a split second to offer deep cogitation.

Needing to reach the hip cats of Latin Airs, as well as the squares of Strauss Waltzes (I own Strauss Waltzes, so my insults only cut so deep), RCA Victor’s approach to reaching the spectrum of 1959’s musical audience needed to be forceful, yet memorable. I believe stopping time for meditation achieved this goal. Nicely done, Mr. Draper… nicely done.

You’ll see, neatly tucked into the corner of Latin Airs and George Beverly Shea’s Through the Years, the thesis to this modern advert:

Recordings so real and exciting they are a year ahead of any others you have heard.

Exactly one year… 59+1=60. And thus, Post #60: The Insert That Stopped Time (If Only Briefly) finds its inevitable message.