Philips CD Video Advert 1987 with Curiosity Killed The Cat

Gold CD Video in case with Curiosity Killed The Cat band sleeve

The 1980s was certainly a ground-breaking decade for technology, and we all remember the Sony Walkman, Commodore 64 and the Casio calculator watch. However, some advances in technology weren't around for long, and the Philips CD Video (CDV) was one of these, with the DVD being launched in 1996. 

Now, I do remember the advert embedded in today's post featured the song "Misfit" by Curiosity Killed The Cat, with Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot performing one of his quirky dance routines. The band were at their peak in 1987, and "Misfit" reached No.7 in the UK singles chart. Their debut album, Keep Your Distance, was a chart-topper in the UK.

The ad also features a pretty lady with cropped blonde hair, who magically transports Ben from the TV screen into her living room, albeit in a glowing rotoscoped neon orange, which reminded me of the old Ready Brek TV adverts. It appears that she wasn't all that impressed with his dancing, as she soon sends him back into the TV set - poor Ben. 

The ad comes with the slogan "Now you can see the music". While that's true, the problem with the format was that the disc could only store up to 20 minutes of CD audio and 5 minutes of LaserDisc video. They could be played back on a CDV player or a LaserDisc player, and were the same size as a standard CD at 12cm. However, the size was the main reason for limited the amount of storage, which made the format only really ideal for playing pop videos - the young target audience couldn't afford to buy a player, as they were pretty expensive. Most teens were happy just to listen to CD's, which were quickly increasing in popularity back in 1987. You could also watch your favourite artist performing on Top Of The Pops or The Tube. 

1987 was the year that CDV was introduced, and it combined  the tech of the LaserDisc and Compact Disc. It was a format that never really took off (it was moderately successful for around 4 years) and by the middle of 1990, it was already being viewed as a "dead" format by the media. 

Of course, Betamax suffered a similar fate, as did the MiniDisc back in the noughties. VHS also eventually gave way to the DVD and hard-drive based PVR's, but it certainly had a much better run than the other aforementioned formats.

I never owned a LaserDisc or CDV player, and so I have no first-hand experience of the format. I did, unfortunately, buy a MiniDisc player about a year before the format saw a sharp decline in popularity - not one of my better moves!

Scotch Video Tapes Skeleton Advert from 1985

Ben Volpeliere-Pierot in orange rotoscope with woman in living room


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