The adverts shown on this page are specifically multi-title. Individual adverts for games can be found (where appropriate) on their respective tribute pages.
The full-price Firebird Software label was the most promoted TelecomSoft label as far as advertising was concerned. The initial push on the £2.50 Silver Range gradually disappeared. Rainbird initially got very little advertising, but as the range found its feet and became well-known, the titles started to get their own adverts.
Before Firebird there was FIREFLY. The original FIREFLY advert from British Telecom appeared in computer magazines in the Spring and Summer of 1984.
By the time the first budget games were released, the name had been changed to Firebird. They recreated the advert a year later, but this time in black and using the Firebird name.
Firebird Silver Range
When Firebird titles first appeared on the shelves in late 1984, an advertising blitz was made on the popular computing magazines of the time.
The early Firebird Silver adverts used the Seeing is believing slogan as a way of promoting the new publisher into the game player's conscience, and these multi-title adverts appeared over the Christmas and New Year period of 1984/85.
As the number of games increased, new adverts appeared that featured the entire (current) range of Firebird Silver games. The first few Firebird Gold titles also began appearing on the adverts, although it wasn't long before they got adverts of their own.
Firebird Super Silver
The new mid-range label Firebird Super Silver appeared in 1985, as did a handful of multi-title and multi-platform adverts to announce its arrival. The chosen advertising slogan was Set to Stun, Ready to Run.
The Firebird Super Silver Range included Firebird's first licensed deal, for the classic Gerry Anderson sci-fi puppet TV show Thunderbirds.
The higher-priced Gold series debuted in 1985 with two titles - Buggy Blast (48k Spectrum) and Demons of Topaz (C64) - retailing at £5.95. A one-sided A4 poster was sent out to shops to promote the first two titles. Despite advertising the Gold range, the poster was printed in four colours (black, white, red and silver) which excluded gold! This was followed by individual adverts (also available as a double-sided A4 poster for shop windows) for both titles, in full colour.
With the first of the Firebird Gold titles successfully published, it was then time to publicise the latest additions to the range with a new advert, adding Gyron and Elite. Other Firebird Gold titles also got their own adverts, including classics like Revs, Revs + and The Sentinel.
Not long after Rainbird was launched, an advert was produced to show the range in the best light. Rainbird was really getting into its stride in 1986. So much so that a new advert promoting a series of titles was produced. In 1987, an advert showed a number of titles on their way, but some of them never made it in the end!
The games included in the advert were Tracker, Starglider, Jewels of Darkness, The Pawn, Silicon Dreams, The OCP Art Studio and The Music System.
The square cardboard boxes weren't used beyond the initial four releases, but the strong red packaging design specifically employed for the Firebird Hot range lasted beyond the range itself!
Ultimate - Play The Game
TelecomSoft signed a deal with Ultimate to convert and publish C64 versions of three of their most popular Spectrum releases. This early advert promoted the first two releases, Sabre Wulf and Underwurlde.
The third and final Firebird C64 Ultimate conversion (Night Shade) was not advertised.
As the 16-bit market matured, a combined ST and Amiga advert was published to promote a number of 16-bit titles, including Return to Genesis, Black Lamp, Pandora and the 16-bit conversion of The Sentinel.
The prices included Postage and Packing, which actually meant that they were being sold mail order at the same price as bought from a shop.
Advertising the budget range came back in early 1988 to help promote the new Silverbird label and the various different price points.
Only the £1.99 (black and red stripes), £2.99 (black and yellow) and £9.99 (black and blue) price-points were ever used, with the green £6.99 and the orange £3.99 labels remaining untouched.
Rainbird also got an advert for Starglider 2, Verminator, Corruption and Fish!.
The Christmas Silverbird advert included a game that was ultimately published by a different publisher after the sale to MicroProse (UK) Ltd in May 1989.