Guitar Hero(R) Puts ``American Idol'' Finalists Center Stage in New ``Risky Business''-Inspired Commercials

May 22, 2008
Guitar Hero(R) Puts ``American Idol'' Finalists Center Stage in New ``Risky Business''-Inspired Commercials

SANTA MONICA, Calif., May 22, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Fans of Activision, Inc.'s (Nasdaq: ATVI) Guitar Hero(R) and "American Idol" were treated to some old time rock n' roll during last night's season finale with the debut of two new Guitar Hero commercials starring season seven winner David Cook and runner-up David Archuleta. The dual 30-second spots paid tribute to the famous lip- and guitar-syncing scene that appeared in the popular film "Risky Business", but with a fresh twist that included two of today's biggest pop culture phenomenons. Airing once each during the broadcast, the commercials featured the stars sliding, dancing and rocking out on a Guitar Hero guitar to the song "Old Time Rock and Roll," performed by Bob Seger. Renowned film and music video director Brett Ratner collaborated with Guitar Hero creatives to amp up the timeless air guitar performance to promote the #1 best-selling video game franchise of 2007.

The ads are the first product of Brett Ratner Brands, a new consulting venture focused on helping brands infuse entertaining, culturally-relevant elements into the marketing of their products and services. "These ads capture that awesome Guitar Hero feeling of taking center stage right there in your own living room," said Ratner. "They are the essence of what Brett Ratner Brands is about - creating an emotional connection with consumers of all ages and life stages."

Entitled "Risky Business," the commercials featured the shy balladeer Archuleta and hard-edged rocker Cook recreating the iconic performance in the timeless film. Ratner stayed true to the classic scene - complete with the finalists dressed in Oxford shirts and upturned collars and tube socks - but instead of a fireplace poker, they played a Guitar Hero guitar. The commercials were produced by advertising agency DDB and H.S.I. Productions and will also be available on

"We continue to evolve our wildly popular Guitar Hero franchise to offer people new and engaging gaming experiences with the songs and artists they love," said Robert Kotick, Chairman and CEO, Activision, Inc. "We know that Guitar Hero fans love David Cook and David Archuleta too. So, for us, these ads were about delivering two fan-favorites in a fun and memorable way. And with a creative director like Brett, it was a perfect match that could be made only in Hollywood."

This year, the growing Guitar Hero franchise will add three new titles for budding rockers of all ages including:

-- Guitar Hero(R): On Tour - Rock out anytime, anywhere with Guitar Hero: On Tour. Designed specifically for the Nintendo DS, Guitar Hero: On Tour will be bundled with a revolutionary Guitar Grip. Available on June 22, 2008.

-- Guitar Hero(R): Aerosmith(R) - Rock this way with America's greatest rock n' roll band, Aerosmith. Relive the band's illustrious career from their early days at Nipmuc High School and continue on their journey to becoming rock royalty. Available on June 29, 2008 for Xbox 360, PlayStation2, PlayStation3 and Nintendo Wii.

-- Guitar Hero(R) World Tour - The next iteration of the Guitar Hero franchise will be available in fall 2008 for Xbox 360, PlayStation2, PlayStation3 and Nintendo Wii. Game features will be announced later this year.

About Activision

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products. Founded in 1979, Activision posted net revenues of $2.9 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2008.

Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands, Australia, Japan and South Korea. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company's website,

About Brett Ratner Brands

Brett Ratner Brands is a consulting company that provides brands with new ways to market their products and services in entertaining ways. Based in Los Angeles, it is the brainchild of acclaimed director and producer Brett Ratner.

RISKY BUSINESS and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and (C) Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Activision's expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. In this release, they are identified by references to dates after the date of this release and words such as "outlook", "will," "remains," "to be," "plans," "believes", "may", "expects," "intends," and similar expressions. Factors that could cause Activision's actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include, but are not limited to, sales of Activision's titles in its fiscal year 2009, shifts in consumer spending trends, the seasonal and cyclical nature of the interactive game market, Activision's ability to predict consumer preferences among competing hardware platforms (including next-generation hardware), declines in software pricing, product returns and price protection, product delays, retail acceptance of Activision's products, adoption rate and availability of new hardware and related software, industry competition, rapid changes in technology and industry standards, protection of proprietary rights, maintenance of relationships with key personnel, customers, vendors and third-party developers, domestic and international economic, financial and political conditions, foreign exchange rates, integration of recent acquisitions and the identification of suitable future acquisition opportunities, the timing and successful completion of the combination of Activision and Vivendi Games, the combined company's success in integrating the operations of Activision and Vivendi Games in a timely manner, or at all, and the combined company's ability to realize the anticipated benefits and synergies of the transaction to the extent, or in the timeframe, anticipated.

Other such factors include the further implementation, acceptance and effectiveness of the remedial measures recommended or adopted by the special sub-committee of independent directors established in July 2006 to review Activision's historical stock option granting practices, by the Board and by Activision, the outcome of the SEC's formal investigation, the finalization of the proposed settlement of the derivative litigation filed in July 2006 against certain current and former directors and officers of Activision relating to Activision's stock option granting practices, and the possibility that additional claims and proceedings will be commenced, including additional action by the SEC and/or other regulatory agencies, and other litigation (unrelated to stock option granting practices) and any additional risk factors identified in Activision's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and the preliminary proxy statement most recent filed in connection with the proposed transaction with Vivendi. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Activision as of the date of this release, and Activision assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Activision and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.

SOURCE: Activision, Inc.

Activision, Inc.
Maryanne Lataif, VP, Corporate Communications

Copyright Business Wire 2008

News Provided by COMTEX