Retro on the radio

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  • Silesia 4 An annual 8-bit computing convention in Poland.
  • The C64 has sold 17 million units globally
  • Silesia 4 Ancient computers in use at Silesia
  • International Soccer was a popular C64 game.

Despite the massive advances in gaming technology over the years, there's still something about those blocky 8-bit graphics that makes men over the age of 30 get all misty eyed.  The computer brand names of the 1980s evoke as much nostalgia as the pop culture references of the time. The Atari ST, the Sinclair Spectrum, the Amstrad, Acorn Archimedes and BBC Micro have all become museum pieces, selling for significant sums on eBay between collectors. But of all the computers that took part in the home computing revolution of the 1980s, none is more impressive than the Commodore 64. The C64 is still the best selling home computer model of all time, with an astonishing 17 million units sold.

Given the massive amount of units that were in use, it is no surprise that 30 years later there is still a massive fanbase for the machine. In fact there is so much fondness for retro gaming and computers that there are festivals dedicated to celebrating the era of the C64 and 8-bit computing. One such festival in Poland, known as Silesia, decided to promote its fourth annual event using an inspired combination of the radio and a C64 data cassette.

In a strategy that specifically targeted C64 owners, a radio advert was broadcast hourly, comprising a message and a sample of data noise. The advert instructed that listeners should record the message onto a cassette, and then play it back on an old C64. The C64 would decode the data noise into an 8-bit advertisement inviting users to the Silesia 4 convention.


The event experienced three times the number of registrations compared with the same time the previous year after the data signal aired,


Why is this on Cream? Radio and data signals might seem like an unlikely combination, but this is a brilliant idea that demonstrates absolute understanding of the target audience. It could also be the first viral radio advertisement.

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Silesia (convention)
August - August 2010
Change Integrated
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