DJ Hero Puts Jay-Z, Eminem in Spotlight

Activision expands its blockbuster Guitar Hero franchise this week with the release of DJ Hero, a game that lets users play DJ with a turntable and more than 100 songs.

Crispin Porter + Bogusky targets music fans and gamers with TV and online ads that highlight the player experience and tout the title’s exclusive tracks. A TV spot breaking this week shows gamers on stage controlling the performances of Jay-Z and Eminem. Online, banner ads allow folks to create their own mixes.

“It’s a way to bring in a whole new genre of music and a whole new game-play experience,” said Brad Jakeman, chief creative officer of Activision in Santa Monica, Calif. “If you are interested in playing something more than classic rock, this is a game we created for you.”

Directed by Paul Hunter, who has previously lensed videos for both Jay-Z and Eminem, the commercial attempts to capture “the emotional experience of the power of the DJ,” said Jakeman. “Specifically, we see our hero controlling both the performance of the music and the physics of two of the world’s biggest artists. It is the ultimate metaphor for the power of the DJ.”

A deluxe version, the Renegade Edition, includes a DJ stand and a limited-edition CD collaboration from both artists.

The music stars “had a great deal of creative input” into the development of the game and the advertising, Jakeman said, allowing Activision to deliver “an authentic music experience.”

Other contributing artists include DJ AM, Cut Chemist, Grandmaster Flash, DJ Jazzy Jeff, J. Period, DJ Shadow and DJ Z-Trip.

See also: “Beatles Help Boost Music Game Biz”