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Cassette Tape Advertising of the 1960s-1980s

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Never has an advertisement lied as badly as this Scotch cassette tape ad from 1976.  Tapes are a lot of things – but durable is not one of them.  Granted, I still have my Men at Work tape purchased in 1983 and it works fine – but for every long-lived tape, there are ten times that number who bit the dust in the tape deck.  Even rewinding them with your pencil couldn’t save them.

Fragility aside, the advent of the cassette tape was a major breakthrough for music lovers – a boon that can’t be appreciated by millennials who take music-on-demand for granted. To be able to record Casey Kasem’s Top 40 and create a mix tape for your girlfriend – you just can’t underestimate how awesome that was.

So, let’s have a look at some cassette tape advertising from the 1960s through the 1980s. Enjoy.

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This ad comes to you from 1982 – and I think that’s Mario Van Peebles on the left.

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“I’m ready for it”… and by “it” I don’t think she means Kenny Loggins’ Greatest Hits on Ampex cassette.

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Stevie, that’s not how you listen to a cassette tape.  You have to put it in the stereo first.

From Circus Magazine 1982

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This 1984 Italian ad proclaims that the tapes have almost zero noise.

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As convenient as tapes were, and as nice as it was to be able to actually record off the radio… you had to admit, the sound quality often sucked.  Hence the endless assertion in these advertisements that the sound was actually good.  “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

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Geena Davis promoting quite the eclectic grab bag of artists: Oingo Boingo and The Carpenters?

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September 1972

 

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  • njguy54

    As an 80s kid, I can say that you knew when someone *really* liked you if they made you a mix tape. Making a good mix tape was a long, arduous process that had to be done linearly — no to mention agonizing over which songs to fit on a 60-minute tape — so it was truly a labor of love. You didn’t set out to make one casually. And if they *really, really* liked you, they used one of the high-end cassettes from Maxell or TDK.

  • Steve Mills

    I wonder who that chick is in the Italian Sony ad. Beautiful eyes.

  • Area man

    I still have tapes from the early 70s… at least 1974 I think. Haven’t tried to play any of them lately though. Groups like Cream, Beatles, The Doors, etc.