The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Heavy Rock Musicans ‘Not As Stupid As They Look’ Shock!
April 25, 2008, 7:04 am
Filed under: Comment

OK I admit it, I love Def Leppard – I think they’re a brilliant British band who have survived the sorts of personal and professional turmoil that would of forced most other bands to pack up and go home.

Alcoholism?
Yes 

Drugs?
Of course

Death?
Absolutely

Car Accidents Where Drummers Loses Limbs?
Hasn’t every band?

Not only that, but despite playing the sort of music that’s about as popular as a red-haired stepson these days, they’ve continued to sell millions of albums and concert tickets all around the World.

In short, they deserve respect, not ridicule.

Picture3 Def Leppard: The Cockroaches Of The Music Biz?

Anyway the reason for this post is that I’ve just seen they’re using quite a novel approach to launch their new single – they’re doing it via the game Guitar Hero

Now I think this is a very interesting move – not just because it’s the sort of strategy that will gain them a bunch of free ‘media’ exposure – but because the Guitar Hero game series is enormously popular so it will give the band the sort of ‘publicity/awareness’ that previously would of cost them millions of dollars to create

Not only that, but thanks to Guitar Hero, the Heavy Rock music genre is becoming popular again – especially with the younger audience – so bands like Def Leppard won’t be seen as ‘has beens’ anymore, they’ll be seen as bands who play the sort of music that’s the antithesis of the manufactured pop kids have been brought up on … and as they start to claim Heavy Rock as the genre for their generation, Def Leppard and the like can ride the wave of popularity all the way to the bank.

Finally – and this is equally important – Guitar Hero uses songs where the guitar is the centrepiece of the music so even if the players don’t like what Def Leppard write, they are being ‘groomed’ to favour music where the guitar isn’t hidden away, but placed upfront and centre.

I’m not saying this strategy will see Def Leppard recreating the success they experienced with their HYSTERIA album, but I am saying it’s a canny move to make a band that’s almost 30 years old be ‘discovered’ by a generation that most brands would kill to talk to.

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15 Comments so far
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I’m first, I don’t believe it.
You really do have terrible taste in music and I don’t know if Def Leppard really thought of all the interesting rational/implications that you’ve written but it is a cool idea and does work on a number of levels so it’ll be interesting if they have a major hit with this strategy as the last one they had has to be in the last century.
I do agree that this is smarter thinking than many brands demonstrate which shows how big budgets also breed laziness of thinking.
I’m torn between hoping they don’t get back on the radio for my ears and hoping they do for the sake of better thinking in marketing.
Who do you think approached who? Def Leppard to Guitar Hero or vice versa? I think the band are more likely to benefit than the game makers but I guess that’s what you’re celebrating in your post.

Comment by Pete

“Pour some sugar on me”

Yes please

Comment by Jemma King

I fucking rock on guitar hero and the lepps are alright when they’re not being big haired pussy power ballard screamers. I don’t know if it’s brilliant marketing but I know I’m going to play “photograph” better than their one armed drummer

Comment by Billy Whizz

Good point Pete, when you have loads of money it tends to make companies more lazy with their marketing investments rather than smarter/adventurous/explority … sad isn’t it!

Comment by Rob

Yeah. Cool ‘n groovy deaf lepers. I dig.

Comment by Charles Frith

We offered Def Leppard a contract in the late 80’s and they turned us down so I have never really cared for them since thought I do like this marketing concept, it’s targeted, guarantees repeat media impressions, is relatively cheap and ensures a wider and broader reach than most of the other channels record companies rely on for artist exposure.

Comment by Lee Hill

so lee, are you saying that your musical taste is based on contract approval? shame on you.

this is a brilliant idea. i fucking love guitar hero and think its perfect for a def leppard release. i don’t know if it’s necessarily great for guitarists (‘cos let’s face it, if you can play it on guitar hero, why would you buy a real guitar and struggle with learning to listen/play), but it’s still a rockin’ idea.

Comment by lauren

I’m always amazed by how much Lauren knows about lad stuff like guitar hero. Which until today I had never heard of. I’m probably way to metro for my own good!

Comment by Charles Frith

You write about China and web 2.0 and you don’t know about Guitar Hero? Jesus …

And Lauren, what I meant was that Guitar Hero is a product that is more likely to inspire people to pick up the guitar [than another instrument] because of the fun they get pretending to kick out licks which means they might then start to favour music where the guitar is the central instrument of which Rock is one of the main genres.

That still doesn’t make sense does it? Oh well, I blame it on the trauma of the cake!

Comment by Rob

And yes Lee is that fickle 😉

Comment by Rob

Charles proving that working in a big agency means keeping up on cultural trends via the annual planning presentations.

Comment by John

He’s learning about this thing called ‘Game & Watch’ at the moment … it’s going to be huuuuge

Comment by Robert

ah, i see what you’re saying rob.. that Rock is the winner, as opposed to trashy dance tracks, like with Dance Dance Revolution. got it.

If i was gonna do a game, i’d make one for wii where you get to be the conductor of an orchestra, baton included. how much fun would that be for the kids at home!

charles, i’m shocked that you are surprised about my knowledge of guitar hero (and other laddish things)! for gods sake, i wear black all the time, am covered in tattoos, swear like a maniac and am an art/technogeek. surely that covers most of the bases? 🙂

Comment by lauren

I love the conductor game Lauren, I’d definitely buy it and they could even have a “Harry Potter” version where at the wave of his magic wand, different things play play different instruments so kids get into classical music rather than just guitar hero rock

Comment by Jill

You do know that the school down the road from me (where I did my A levels) is the one where the drummer was asked the fabled question “What would you do if you lost an arm” to which he replied “Keep drumming”.

Comment by Rob Mortimer




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