Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Ludwig Drum Company Ad from 1970

As I've stated in previous blogs, the Ludwig Drum Company in the 1960's and 70's always seemed to be a step ahead of their competitors in the advertising world. Thanks in no small measure to Ringo Starr and other British Invasion drummers, Ludwig executives realized the importance of aligning their company with the "Now Generation." Ludwig did everything it could to convince aspiring drummers that their drums were "hip" and that their brand was preferable to any other.  Slingerland, Rogers, Camco, and Gretsch were left at the starting gate. They all, eventually, took notice, but none of them could approach the visibility of the Ludwig name.

The pictured ad is just one of many that Ludwig placed in various periodicals. This ad appeared in Jazz and Pop magazine in 1970. Jazz and Pop was the main competitor to Downbeat at the time. Unlike Downbeat, the editors fully embraced the Rock, Pop, and Free Jazz scene that was happening across the country.

This ad is interesting in that it attempted to merge Roy Haynes and his Hip Ensemble with current rock cultural references. Although perhaps Ludwig's version of the rock scene wasn't that current. Light My Fire was already a few years old by this time. Nevertheless, the Doors and this particular song were one of the staples of the 60's music scene.  It also didn't make any difference that the music Roy's band was performing had absolutely nothing to do with the Doors, Light My Fire, or rock music in general.  It was the connection that was important, however tenuous. The implication was clear. You could light your own fire by playing Ludwig Drums....just like Roy Haynes.

Ludwig continued to pursue this advertising course throughout the 1970's. As I mentioned earlier, other drum companies soon caught on, but no other company did it quite like Ludwig.

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