Corinthian Drum Marketing

trickg

Silver Member
So my adult daughter just asked me about a line by Ricardo Montalban in the movie Spy Kids 3-D. He makes a comment about his wheelchair, stating, "And don't touch the wheelchair. It's genuine Corinthian leather." She didn't get it, but I immediately got the inside joke and reference.

For those who may not remember or know, this is a direct reference to the 1970s Chrysler ads for the Cordoba Ricardo Montalban did where he talks about the "fine," "smooth," or "rich" Corinthian leather upholstery. Of course we now know that Corinthian leather isn't a real thing - it was a term the advertising company came up with because they thought it sounded good and worked toward marketing both the Lebaron and the Cordoba. Ultimately it was just leather, and from what I gather, the leather they used was actually sourced in New Jersey. Go figure.

Marketing is an interesting thing, particularly where drums are concerned. Now is our chance to list off and talk about some of the things used in marketing drums that serve to differentiate between amateur or pro level drums, or other options that suggest that something is better than something else. Many of these things do change the sound of drums to varying degrees, but just as often, all of the cool upgrades doesn't make much difference for a kit that's poorly set up and poorly tuned.

I'll start with a couple that immediately come to mind:

Silver paint inside of Gretsch drums.

"Hand Hammered" cymbals. In some cases of hand hammering, the hammer itself is a pneumatic hammer, but the cymbal smith chooses where it strikes, rather than other companies that actually have a guy banging on the cymbal with a real hammer.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
We are going to have to be careful on this thread. I fear if we start bashing manufacturers the thread will get deleted.

I guess I'll be the first to take a shot.
This kind of marketing is common all over the place. With every manufacturer.
They have to embellish the words or else the product would sound boring and not different from any other product.

How many silly "embellishments" can you pick out of this drum advertising statement?

Shell
7-ply Cross-Laminated North American Maple.

Preferred by professionals for its tonal versatility, _______ Maple drums are the ideal choice for any performance application. Its high sensitivity, wide dynamic tuning range, and sharp attack make it the ideal choice for live performance. Yet ________ Maple's 7-ply shell is crafted to respond to the player and environment quickly, making it adaptable to any playing style or preference.


.
 

EhhSoCheap

Member
I can't decide if the insane amount of choices for drum products is catering to musicians, or driving up sales.

Take Vic Firth, for instance. Like any other stick manufacturer, they have a 2B model. If they add a cm in length, the resulting stick is now "ROCK." They take about .3cm off the ROCK stick, and call it Danny Carey's signature model. They add .5cm to the ROCK stick and call that Vinnie Paul's signature stick. That's insanity to me, and you can see it across their spectrum of products.

I suppose your or my perfect stick may be out there, but is there a real difference between those 4 model above?
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
There's no way this thread will ever end. It's how marketing works. Take something, add color to it and do everything you can to entice a buyer, however true or untrue. The other way to look at is is create a perceived problem, then solved it with your product. Thus, no one will ever say we use a 6ply shell and that's it!

Soniclear edges - bearing edge results in a clear and focused rack tom, a fat and dense floor tom, and a bass drum with a balance of punch and boom - Mapex

An altered maple and walnut shell formula that helps each drum respond with a whisper yet bark at a moment's notice - Mapex

Player friendly features - PDP

Completely re-imagined boutique inspired drums - PDP

What does it all mean anyway? Respond with a whisper and a bark at a moments notice? I guess they just know which one we mean?

Boutique inspired drums? You mean they are round?
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
Some little company claiming their cymbals are now "unbound"...while not changing the cymbals at all except for the ink blot...

(runs...ducks...hides...snickers...)

lol
 

benthedrum

Senior Member
A very interesting and thought proving topic......

I guess you can't really blame any company from marketing hype. They've gotta make money like anyone else. They have to cater for the absolute beginner who may be a little naive to the seasoned professional who has heard it all before.

Ultimately........these drum companies offer some beautiful, beautiful products that we all love in some way. Some will buy for asthetics, some will buy for product loyalty, some will buy for sonic qualities regardless of how it's marketed.

Yes, there will be those who buy into the marketing strategy......but quite possibly these are the people that keep these drum companies in business and allow us to keep enjoying these wonderful instruments.

It's up to us, the consumer as to whether we buy into the hype or not.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
My pet peeve is how overused some of the adjectives are when describing drums.

Every kit has a Sharp Attack with Amazing Responsiveness (even a C&C kit made of marshmallows).

This especially applies to buzz words for each type of wood that is used. Maple has a rich, articulate, full-bodied tone and is appropriate for ANY musical environment. Birch has a rich, articulate, full-bodied tone and is appropriate for ANY musical environment.

The descriptions are so interchangeable that they're almost meaningless.

They never say drums sound Mellow, Thin, or Thuddy even when it clearly applies.
 

Groov-E

Silver Member
I think the Silver Sealer changes the sound reflections inside of the drum, so it's not just marketing.

I think the point of the op is more for example if the silver sealer was replaced by a white sealer with all the exact same properties, die hard fans would tell you in all they actually hear a difference. And I believe their mind would trick them into hearing a difference.

[I could have used any of the other brands' marketing schemes, I love Gretsch]

That's the power of marketing.

I am not even contemplating opening up that can of worms.
 

trickg

Silver Member
How about the number of lugs on drums? Is 10 actually superior to 8 on a kick drum or snare drum? I've never thought so, but 10 has become synonymous with "professional" and 8 basically means "not professional," regardless of the material of the shell, or the quality of the construction and accompanying hardware.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
How about the number of lugs on drums? Is 10 actually superior to 8 on a kick drum or snare drum? I've never thought so, but 10 has become synonymous with "professional" and 8 basically means "not professional," regardless of the material of the shell, or the quality of the construction and accompanying hardware.

How about 6 lugs on a bass drum?

For once I'm not being a smartarse...I've seen 6 lug bass drums, which as far as I recall have always been cheaper drums. So if 8 is superior to 6, why isn't 10 superior to 8? Genuine question.

That said I have 2 bass drums in different kits. One has 8 lugs and the other 10, and I can't detect any difference that I would lay at the feet of the lug count.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
Super hoop, Super Hoop II, Power hoop, Mastercast hoop, any other sticker on the hoop telling me how special it is.

I’d love to see a sparkly 3-D sticker that says ‘cheap hoop’.
 

trickg

Silver Member
How about 6 lugs on a bass drum?

For once I'm not being a smartarse...I've seen 6 lug bass drums, which as far as I recall have always been cheaper drums. So if 8 is superior to 6, why isn't 10 superior to 8? Genuine question.

That said I have 2 bass drums in different kits. One has 8 lugs and the other 10, and I can't detect any difference that I would lay at the feet of the lug count.
From some things I've read regarding old snare drums, some of those old snares with just 6 lugs were just fine, so 8 may not be superior to 6. I can see how 4 might be too few, but not 6 - with 6 there's at least a cross/star pattern. I know that marching snares with Kevlar heads require a lot of tension, so 6 or 8 lugs might not get it done, but otherwise 6 or 8 should be enough.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
From some things I've read regarding old snare drums, some of those old snares with just 6 lugs were just fine, so 8 may not be superior to 6. I can see how 4 might be too few, but not 6 - with 6 there's at least a cross/star pattern. I know that marching snares with Kevlar heads require a lot of tension, so 6 or 8 lugs might not get it done, but otherwise 6 or 8 should be enough.

This all may be true, but 10 lugs are pro quality, provide superior playability and are ideal for professional settings. They provide a sharp attack and warmth for versatility with any style of music. :)
 

trickg

Silver Member
This all may be true, but 10 lugs are pro quality, provide superior playability and are ideal for professional settings. They provide a sharp attack and warmth for versatility with any style of music. :)
You forgot to add amazing responsiveness. ;-)
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
"Hand Hammered" cymbals. In some cases of hand hammering, the hammer itself is a pneumatic hammer, but the cymbal smith chooses where it strikes, rather than other companies that actually have a guy banging on the cymbal with a real hammer.

I'm very thankful that I was able to buy some Turkish hand-hammered cymbals last year. They have been a game-changer for me, and they have changed my playing for the better.

Soniclear edges - bearing edge results in a clear and focused rack tom, a fat and dense floor tom, and a bass drum with a balance of punch and boom - Mapex

I love the soniclear edges!


I know there are exceptions out there, and I'm not going to pick on any specific brands; however, one of my rules of thumb is that if a cheap product says the word "Pro" in the model, chances are, it's not. :)

I think it's funny that there are so many marketing names including the word "Rock." I mean, I get it. Drums are a crucial part of rock music, and have a long history; therefore, the name may be appropriate. With that said, that seems to be about the only genre of music that's used to label equipment, and it's probably the only genre name that will sell equipment. I know that Zildjian has put out a "Worship" set, and Sabian has a "Praise and Worship" set - both of these appealing to houses of worship.

It would be funny for someone to offer "Country" drum sticks made out of old whiskey barrels or something that smell like it. Probably make your stick back more aromatic as well.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
It wasn’t a kick to Mapex. I think they make killer drums. It’s more the marketing I was referring to. Kinda like saying if you don’t have those edges, your drums have none of those characteristics! I think if they went for precision, that would have actually been more accurate.

When I was asked to rewrite training materials for one of our products, the first thing I did is rip out all marketing BS. Our marketing department was beside themselves. They mellowed out when I filled it all in with facts, than fluff. Marketing folks don’t always and sometimes rarely know anything about what they are promoting. They are good at finding power words. It’s just how it is. Let’s please not get off on a brand bashing kick and enjoy the fun of the marketing campaigns. :)
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Just to offer balance, does anyone have any thoughts about the companies whose marketing is considered "good"?
 
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