Week 2: Apple, SEDA, Foxtel, Global Comp. Sega World, Sony, Motor Show, Vodafone

Welcome to the second installment of clips from digitized VHS tapes in my collection.

Apple iPod [June 2004]

The iPod became the world’s most popular MP3 player, but they’ve always had iconic advertising. This was the ad for their first generation iPod (with the buttons), featuring the silhouette image and coloured backgrounds which became iconic of their advertising.

Energy Smart [June 2004]

Climate change has been a big issue recently, as well as global warming. Television ads has been run by the NSW Government’s SEDA to encourage people to make smarter energy decisions. In some ways, it was the pre-cursor to the greenhouse abatement schemes that did exactly that – replace globes with compact-fluorescents, and showerheads with AAA rated ones.

Foxtel Digital [June 2004]

At this time, Foxtel must have been upgrading their cable network from analog to digital, with a big increase in the channel capacity, they showed off some of their multi-view features (then, state of the art). They also tried to appeal to people by using testimonials from subscribers – but quality and variety seems to be a key emphasis. Cost was $12-22/week. Value for money? *shakes head*.

Global Computers [June 2004]

One of those “late night” home-shopping style ads, in 2004, they were offering ex-business Pentium II machines for $599 (or Pentium III by adding $199) with modem, multi-function centre, bonus software packages, webcam and a bowling voucher. I’m not sure who Global Computers were, but it seems like one of those fly-by-night operations which were very popular around that time. By that time, it wouldn’t have been that good value, but they aimed to “appeal” to the less technically inclined.

Sega World [December 1998]

Sega World was Australia’s largest indoor theme park, in Darling Harbour, Sydney. In its lifetime, I visited it just once, in its iconic “rectangular” red-frame building with blue-glass windows shaped into a cone on top. But it closed down after a fairly short run, the building was disused for a while and now is completely removed and re-developed.

Sony CD Walkman [2000]

CDs were the music distribution format most popular after compact cassette started to fall into demise. The main problem with portable CD players was skipping due to the pickup head having trouble focusing, following and decoding data from the disc, or uneven rotation rate due to motion of the player itself. By speeding up the mechanism to read “faster than realtime” and buffer into memory, this gave time for the mechanism to catch up after being “shocked”, thus leading to the G-Protection moniker. It also helped alleviate the trouble with battery life. It ends with the familiar “It’s a Sony” slogan.

Sony MemoryStick [2000]

It seems that Sony was trying to position MemoryStick to be the universal modern “floppy replacement”, showing the same stick being used in many different scenarios and devices. Unfortunately, this never really was the reality – due to the proprietary nature of MemoryStick and expensive prices compared to more “open” alternatives.

Sydney Motor Show [October 1999]

I guess this one deserves a mention due to its use of innuendo. Aside from that, the motor show itself has been having trouble lately attracting enough industry attention and attendees – maybe it won’t be around for too much longer …

Vodafone Live [June 2004]

Part of Vodafone’s failure to fully capitalize on the mobile phone market early on was their reluctance to provide full-fledged data services, instead insisting on more “hobbled” WAP style services and MMS. These services were branded Vodafone Live, and this was part of their advertising to try and convince people to use MMS (then, relatively new). Of course, things have changed now.

See you next time for some more VHS goodness.

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