2015 was the relaunch for the world’s first and premier music video game. It had been away for four years and the gaming landscape had changed dramatically in that time. The players
who enjoyed the first Guitar Hero games had moved on, we needed to excite and invigorate a new audience and bring them into the Guitar Hero world all over again.
The tried and tested design route of POS, print ads, websites, trailers wasn’t going to get the message across strongly enough, so we hit the festival scene with huge Guitar Hero marketing stands that were dressed as guitar amplifiers. Inside was mounds of swag to adorn yourself with and spread the word, and most importantly, get a hands on experience of Guitar Hero for yourself, before it hits the streets!
As well as designing the large format festival pop-ups, we worked on POS and advertising for the game’s release, but again with the POS designed something a bit different. We came up with the idea for the graphics where the arches worked with the live event theme of the game, designed as stage rigs of speakers that adorned retailer doorways across European stores.
While there was an existing customer base for Guitar Hero there was also a new generation ready to arm themselves with guitars and immerse themselves in playing onstage to 70,000
screaming fans right in their lounge.
To get the message across we designed cross-sell leaflets that Sony packaged inside every PS4 box leading up to the launch day. This leaflet was a graphic design educational and aspirational piece, explaining the gameplay, the dynamics and the scope of the game and its expandable options into the Guitar Hero TV channel complete with a full run down of all the tracks you get to play from the second you open the box!
Being a social game Guitar Hero and It’s sister products have required lifestyle photography for use in marketing materials and packaging to reinforce the playability and group entertainment
aspect of the games. We art directed the photoshoots for use in all graphic design and marketing projects.
We shot a variety of shoots for different markets and demographics. The more edgy ones were used for the alternative market, and the lighter ones used in the family market, then the vivid colourful shots were the generic shots that would
cater for all, and were used on the packaging.
For DJ Hero (the sister product to Guitar Hero) we followed a similar route, with more urban shots for the dance/DJ community and lighter family imagery for the family consumers bringing in a mother/daughter combo to reinforce that this wasn’t solely a game targeted at male teens.
©2015 Activision Publishing, Inc. ACTIVISION, FREESTYLEGAMES, GUITAR HERO, GH and DJ HERO are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc.
Graphic design and marketing projects shown are a collaboration with Activision, Freestyle Games, Studio Diva and SSorted Photography.