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Johnson, Mike (ed.) / Leblanc Bell : A newsletter for music retailers, educators, employees and friends of G. Leblanc Corporation
(May 6, 1996)

Ad venture,   pp. 25-31

Page 27

Advertising often reflects the era in
which it was produced, and in 1948
the memory of World War II was still
alive. Because the seeds for Leblanc
U.S.A. were sown during the war, ref-
erence to it in Leblanc advertising
might seem logical. However, only one
ad ever mentioned the war, saying that
three out of five French clarinets sold
in America before the war were Noblet
instruments. The ad clearly reminded
readers that now that Noblet was again
available, the brand had previously
established itself as a leader in the
United States.
The first documented use of an en-
dorser for a Leblanc clarinet in an ad-
vertisement came in October, 1953.
The ad (see page 26, bottom) mentions
that Henri Druart of the Garde
Rpublicaine band of Paris played a
Leblanc. Another ad that same year
mentioned that 13 out of 23 Garde
R~publicaine clarinetists played Le-
blanc instruments exclusively. The ad
also urged readers to hear the French
band, then on tour in America.
In 1954 Leblanc created an ad pro-
moting the premise that an investment
in a musical instrument is actually an
investment in a child. Its text said, in
part, "Back your boy or girl with the
finest of artist instruments and you will
be amazed at how rapidly your invest-
ment brings in returns. For nothing
The 1956 ad below is considered one of
Leblanc's all-time classics.
short of the best will kindle quite the
same enthusiasm, the same eagerness
to advance, or give you the same deep
pride in your youngster's accomplish.
An amazing coincidence is that this
ad (see page 26, top) featured a 14-year-
old child named Larry Combs! Any-
one familiar with Leblanc's current
advertising knows that Larry, now
principal clarinetist with the Chicago
Symphony Orchestra, is one of
Leblanc's most respected endorsers. In
a similarly prophetic vein, note
Leblanc's current Concerto clarinet ad-
vertisement featuring Eddie Daniels.
You needn't guess which brand of clari-
net he's shown playing at age 13.
Appearing for the first time in 1956 is
a two-page ad that became a Leblanc
classic. Headlined "as the twig is
bent. ..," it is one of our most touching
ads (this page, below). It features a full-
page black-and-white photograph on the
left page and text on the right. The
photo shows a boy in his bedroom
packing his suitcase and clarinet case
in preparation for an upcoming music
contest. The copy reads as follows:
This is somebody's boy.
And he's a little scared. The contest
he's packing for is important, and his
first. But what excitement -his clothes
are spanking new, his hair freshly
trimmed, loud Christmas pajamas care-
fully packed in Uncle Fred's bag, and
in his pocket, "just to rattle," is a crisp
twig is
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This 1958 example from the "Seven Won-
ders" series, featuring the Colossus of
Rhodes, surely ranks as one of Leblanc's
higher-concept advertisements.
$10 bill no one knew Mom had. And
most of all, there's his Leblanc.
We wish we could go along. From
the wings we'd watch our boy relax
and feel his confidence grow as he put
his Leblanc through its paces-and
thrill to its inimitable tone in this ex-
cited, inspired setting of youth.
The voice of a Leblanc is a familiar
sound in many places-in the great
symphony halls, on the screen, TV. and
radio, wherever great art-
ists perform. But there is
a special thrill for us to see
and hear our great Leblanc
in the hands of a youth.
For he is true heir to a
great heritage-to a tradi-
tion of instrument making
which puts Music ahead of
material interests.
To us the golden dream
of youth is precious coin.
A 1958 ad series featured
several of the Seven Won-
ders of the ancient world
as backdrops for Leblanc
instruments. The series
emphasized that music has
played a vital role in the
history of man and that the
spirit of music is inherent
in Leblanc's ideals and phi-
losophy of instrument
making. Featured were the
Greek god Zeus, the Hang-
continued on page 28

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