Band Promotes Music Through iPhone Game

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New York-based Rock/Rap group Shinobi Ninja has decided not to wait for their tunes to be discovered by those Rock Band and Guitar Hero fans out there. Instead, they’ve made their own retro iPhone beat ’em up. That’s certainly some interesting marketing.

Within the virtual world of the “Shinobi Ninja Attacks” game, players choose a Shinobi Ninja band member as their avatars. As Shinobi Ninja’s music plays in the background, “Shinobi Ninja Attacks” players fight their way through the streets of Brooklyn to the L-Train, until they eventually reach the mythical Club Babylon. Along the way players beat up evil hipsters, knock down douchebags from the Jersey Shore, and subdue angry subway riders, as they earn points and treasure.  

The game includes four tracks and two unlockable videos. On top of that the app will help you get more free stuff via GPS and over-the-air technology when you head out to the band’s gigs. That’ll net you some extra music and promos when activated.

An interesting and innovative interactive marketing tool it seems is beginning to come into its own on all platforms. Using games to market a product is nothing new and has included the likes of LEGO, Coca-Cola, Doritos, 7-Up and even Domino’s Pizza as well as big bands like Van Halen, AC/DC and the kings of selling out,  Metallica.

The difference really seems to be that Shinobi Ninja isn’t doing this to sell out but to actually give their fans a way to interact with the music. Four songs for a dollar is a good deal. What we’ve found out is that as you progress through the game you receive email links to actually download the songs from iTunes. This further expands the band’s brand awareness and let’s you get something out of the game. GDN also found out that as new albums are put out by the band, new levels will become available allowing you to get even more out of the game over time.

Of course there is a financial basis for the game, according to bandleader and game co-creator Dave Machinist, “the app helps us monetize our music and hook in fans live at our gigs; plus, it keeps them engaged, listening to our music and playing in our imagined virtual world when we’re not around.”

Apple iTunes

Developed by Shinobi Ninja Video Game, LLC., a partnership of Shinobi Ninja and Heard Games, “Shinobi Ninja Attacks” was designed and animated by Interbang Entertainment, with software programming by Cerulean Games.

A “lite” version is available free from the App Store on Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch; the fully loaded retail version sells for $3.99, but through February 4, 2010, the retail version will sell for just $0.99.

Stephen Sternschein, Shinobi Ninja’s manager and the game’s co-creator said, “It’s a whole new way to introduce people to Shinobi Ninja, and to drive deeper fan engagement with our music.”

In : PC

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