US: Beatles pips Guitar Hero

Numbers from US mag Advertising Age claim that The Beatles: Rock Band outsold rival Guitar Hero 5 in North America in 2009, thanks in part, the publication claims, to Viacom’s skilled use of one of music’s key IPs.

MTV’s Rock Band tie-in sold 1.18m units in the territory throughout the year, the site claims, whiles Activision’s latest Guitar Hero title sold 996k.

In an article examining the marketing strategies of each title, Advertising Age says that both companies excelled, with the pulling power of the Beatles’ brand having to work hard to match Guitar Hero’s widespread recognition.

The one word that sums up The Beatles: Rock Band media strategy is leverage,” the site states.

It expertly leveraged the media properties of holding company Viacom. It leveraged the PR masterfully around events, and in the press, it leveraged its content into social platforms and it leveraged its relationships with marketing partners. Yes, Rock Band put more dollars behind its campaign, but it wins in my book because of the many, innovative ways it used media.”

Viacom’s The Beatles: Rock Band campaign got off to a high-profile start with the widely reported E3 gathering of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr at Microsoft’s pre-show keynote.

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