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Vol.14 : 1950s "Moving Showroom"

Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation's Promotional Bus Helped to Open up Market

Children gather around the promotional bus on their way home from school. This generation
grew up to become an important customer base for Sony, and these "children" are probably in
their 60s by now.

"Create Our Own Markets"---Sony has consistently adhered to this concept because of what it learned in 1950 when it launched the Tape Recorder G Type, Japan's first tape recorder. However, a market cannot be created overnight. It takes a great deal of sweat and behind-the-scenes leg-work to develop a market.

This color photo (a rarity for the time) shows a
woman who appears to be the bus attendant.

This 1950s photograph shows a promotional bus belonging to Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation (Sony's predecessor). 2008 marks the 50th anniversary of the company's name change to "Sony" in 1958. This vehicle carried consumer tape recorders, transistor radios, and large tape recorders for broadcasting station use, in effect serving as a moving showroom for the most advanced equipment available at the time. Following the principle that "seeing is believing," the bus traveled both rough roads and smooth throughout Japan---from Hokkaido in the north to Kyushu in the south---introducing new products to Sony shops and giving on-the-spot stereo concerts at schools and other venues. Since stereo was still a rarity at the time, we can imagine just how impressed adults and children must have been when they first heard it. This was the first step in developing the market. The impression people got at the time was no doubt instrumental in creating a new market for hi-fi audio.

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