Question: The Best HiFi Ad Of All Time Is Nearly 40-Years Old. What Happened?

It’s iconic.

The original “Blown Away Guy” ad campaign was conceived by Maxell Art Director Lars Anderson and started life as a two-page spread in Rolling Stone Magazine ad in 1980. Hold on, what? Rolling Stone magazine? Why in the world would a hifi company advertise in a music magazine? (sarcasm noted). Mr. Blown Away Guy is sitting in another icon of design, Le Corbusier’s Grand Confort LC2, while listening to Wagner in the US and Mussorgsky in the UK when the TV ad arrived shortly thereafter.

Peter Murphy, Bauhaus

The model for the UK ad was none other than Peter Murphy of Bauhaus, while the US got a regular kinda model. I’m not going to describe what happens in the video since you can see it for yourself except to note that this guy is clearly chill and interesting. More chill and more interesting, I would suggest, than the original Dos Equis dude. And we all know how interesting he was.

Have you taken at look at hifi ads in hifi magazines lately? They are rarely chill, hardly interesting in this everyperson kinda way, and they typically don’t have people in them, let alone chill people sitting on an icon. Of course Maxell wasn’t the only company to tap into coolness but they are the clear winner.

My question—what happened?



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