Is it love? Or is it Memorex? The Rise and Fall of a Tech Company Who Touched Many


Memorex is a consumer electronics brand that was best known for it’s recordable media for DVD and CD drives, and who can forget those classic cassette tapes! The story of this brand began in 1961 in Silicon Valley and by the early 80’s they were a global success, being one of the largest independent suppliers of all things media and tech.

Their first campaign featured a famous singer Ella Fitzgerald who sang and as a result a wine glass shattered, followed by their popular slogan “Is it live, or is it Memorex?”.

Courtesy: YouTube 

The campaign intended to communicate to people that the sound quality and sound effects of Memorex was revolutionary – well this was taken too literally for some people “I remember when me and my friend would try to break our mother’s crystal glasses with Memorexes. Needless to say it did not work, so we broke them anyway. We were out of our minds when we did this.” unknown source.

Memorex Cassette Tape


Memorex Video Cassette

I still remember the times when I would record my favourite music onto a cassette tape and share those moments with friends, even up to the time I purchased my first car which only housed tapes – driving along bopping to music and hoping the song wouldn’t end before I had to switch sides of the tape. And how about the days when you would record your favourite show on TV with a big bulky video cassette! Ahh the nostalgia.

In the 1990s CD and VCD companies took over the market (although they were already around for some time) and the popularity of the Memorex brand slowly diminished and they officially filed for bankruptcy in 1996. Memorex did however have a successful combination of positive brand engagement and breakthrough technology at the time.

Olga Dumitriu

Client Account Executive

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