Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 53

This targeted the same teenaged audience
driving Fender's explosive success, and as teen
culture moved farther from "adult" norms, traditional ads barely attracted teenage eyes. Fender
catalogs maintained a roster of endorsements,
but Perine's layouts featured clean-cut American
kids having fun and marking the instruments
with a "street" appeal that helped the company's
affordable Mustang sell an astounding 17,000plus units in '66 alone.
It took time for Fender's sales team to find this
strategy; for much of their first decade the ads
were relatively conservative, at least compared
to Leo's futuristic instruments. In the early/mid
'50s, Fender promotion relied on straight artist
endorsements or detailed product descriptions;
catalogs with artists wearing Western shirts and/
or cowboy hats, and the brand's modernistic
appeal was not yet explicit. The main exceptions
among early endorsers were from the jazz/R&B
community - a direct result of the Fender Bass
being shown with Shifte Henri and Monk
Montgomery, who used it with Lionel Hampton's
orchestra. Hampton himself (a vibraphonist/
percussionist) was pictured holding the bass.
Fender's first really youthful endorser was
Buddy Merrill, the boyish guitarist with Lawrence Welk's orchestra. While Welk's music and
image were as far as one could get from rock
and roll, Merrill was allowed to play surprisingly hot guitar instrumentals, during which he
showcased the super-futuristic Stratocaster on
national TV beginning in '55. At the same time,
the company tried several approaches in its print
ads; layouts gradually became more abstract and
often featured sly humor. Still working on its
brand identity and in an effort to woo Downbeat
magazine's jazz-loving readers, Fender had a
catalog bound into the annual "guitar issue"
each year from '55 to '65. This was theoretically
not the ideal placement, but it did offer a lot of
exposure to pros and would-be players.
In '61 and '62, Fender used a series of humorously captioned ads based on old engravings; at
the same time, they began using the slogan "Most
Imitated Guitar in the World."
In the late '50s, a more-lasting effort was Bob
Perine's striking "You Won't Part With Yours
Either" campaign, which showed instruments
in humorously incongruous situations. These
funny, memorable pieces ran for years and
established the company's image next to moreconservative competitors. As the '60s rolled in,
Perine's visuals helped Fender's guitars (and
amps) feel like an essential accessory for the
California teen lifestyle that was quickly becoming fascinating to the rest of the world. Fender
identified itself with the '60s youth movement,
much like Pepsi, and used colorful, kinetic art
on catalog covers.

	

Of course, Fender instruments remained
at the heart of musical trends, as well. Dick
Dale, who created the template for the surfinstrumental style in Southern California, was
an early endorser and consultant to Leo; bands
that followed, like the Bel-Aires, Surfaris, and
Chantays, continued to play Fender almost exclu-

February 2017	

53	

VINTAGE GUITAR

(CLOCKWISE) An example of the renowned
"You Won't Part With Yours..." campaign with
photos by Bob Perine, 1964. Bob Perine's
photos dressed Fender's ".... music to surf by..."
ads, focused on California lifestyle. Fender's
1965 catalog cover was a Bob Perine concept,
executed with help from painter Neil Boyle.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - IFC
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 1
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 2
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 3
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 4
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 5
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 6
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 7
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - Contents
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 9
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 10
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 11
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 12
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 13
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Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 30
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Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - IBC
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - BC
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