"We have a very active fan base," Amy Longhi, director of global brand management for Guitar Hero, tells Marketing Daily. "We wanted to do something that engaged them and got them to participate as we prepare to launch 'Guitar Hero 5.'"
All this week, the company has been announcing band participation via news, gaming and entertainment programming (both Web and television). Through the game's official site, GH5.GuitarHero.com, consumers are encouraged to find these news items. Properties involved in the announcements include Rollingstone.com, IGN.com, Yahoo News, G4 (and G4TV), as well as the sites of the bands themselves.
"We look at the franchise as more than a gaming platform; it's a social platform to experience music," Longhi says of including the bands' sites (and fan bases) in the promotion.
After finding the news story, fans can answer a question about the news story to enter a sweepstakes to win five tickets to five different concerts in major metropolitan areas near their own hometown. The sweepstakes is in keeping with the franchise's commitment to variety, Longhi says.
"The number one thing consumers tell us they want from these games is music variety," she says. "The concert ticket giveaway really helps drive that variety. We want them to experience as much variety as possible."
Activision is promoting the sweepstakes through the news stories on partner sites, as well as through its own site, Facebook fan page, Twitter feed and other public relations outreach.
The "Guitar Hero 5" game will launch in September. Activision also plans to broaden its audience with launches of other games such as "DJ Hero" (which will employ hip-hop and house music through a turntable controller) in October and a more family-friendly "Band Hero" (featuring well-known hits) to launch in time for the holiday season, Longhi says.