Marshall Overdrive Pedals Ad Mystery

Bob Leggitt | Thursday 3 July 2014
Marshall drive pedal magazine ad

It's always interesting to compare the way musical equipment is marketed in different countries, but whilst trying to do just that in the case of the classic Marshall guitar overdrive pedals trio of the early 1990s, I stumbled upon an odd mystery.

The image I've compiled above features two original adverts for the Marshall BluesBreaker, DriveMaster and ShredMaster, both circa 1991. On the left is the American version, and on the right is the UK version, published slightly earlier.

There's a very slight difference in the wording of the DriveMaster's blurb from one ad to the next, plus of course the contact details are different, and the ads are not headlined in the same way. But look at the actual pedals (click the image to see or download at its full res)...

The British version of the ad shows the units in their familiar form. But the American version clearly shows all three pedals sporting white logo branding, rather than the individual ID colours of blue, red and gold respectively. I don't remember seeing any of the pedals with these white logos, and I can't find any reference to them or other pictures of them either in old magazines or online. There must have been some examples made with these white logos, but how many, I wonder? Were the pedals in the US ad just 'prototypes', and why do they not appear in the UK ad, which as far as I can establish, was published first?

Marshall Drivemaster Pedal white branding

If you can shed any light on this, please feel free to tweet me on my @PlanetBotch Twitter account. I don't use it very regularly, but I do check it from time to time. For now, though, in the absence of an answer, I've added an image above showing how a DriveMaster would look with this white logo design. It's an edited photo of a regular DriveMaster - I haven't actually found a white logo original.