Rock Out with Your Brand Out: Why Rock Band Merchandise Kicks Ass

Rock Band isn’t old news. In fact, countless homes all over the world contain various plastic Stratocaster guitars, USB microphones, and interactive drum sets. There’s nothing more exciting than inviting over your closest friends, hooking up your Rock Band fog machine and light show, and pretending to be hardcore rock stars from the shelter of your living room! I mean, at least in my hella geek opinion…you mean that’s not what you do on weekends? To quote Sam from the still-phenomenal-after-all-these-years television show, Quantum Leap, “Oh boy…”

Many of my weekends are spent pseudo-rocking with my besties, and I’m sure millions of other people feel exactly the same way. However, in addition to getting excited while actually playing Rock Band, I also get pumped when I see people wearing Rock Band t-shirts, baseball caps, and lanyards. Why? Because I love Rock Band, I love how Harmonix has revolutionized not only music games but also the music industry, and I love wearing their promotional products to spread the good word! And that, my friends, is what branding is all about!

Rock Band and Rock Band 2 swag is everywhere these days. But, before you could head to Best Buy or Amazon to buy Rock Band stuff, Harmonix gave it away to anxious and fascinated fans on their numerous promotional road shows back in 2007. They traveled in style by giant vans that looked like tour buses, and they made stops all over the country to set up demo stations of the Rock Band game. BRILLIANT.

I’ll never forget going to Northern Illinois University, one of the tour stops, and rocking out with my friends like it was…well, 2007. At the time, I’d never played a music game with a full “band”, so I was excited enough already, but my excitement went through the roof when the road crew handed us all Rock Band promotional t-shirts and hats! One of my friends was even the lucky recipient of personalized Rock Band drum sticks. And you know what? We still have our Rock Band merchandise, and we wear/use it proudly every opportunity we get.

When a company makes an impact on you, it’s a no-brainer to generate buzz about them, right? Right. Harmonix has proven to me, time and time again, that they are dedicated to giving their customers intuitive and groundbreaking products. They even built Rock Band 2 around users’ feedback from the original Rock Band! That’s great customer service if I’ve ever seen it.

Now, only because I am a dedicated Rock Band advocate, I have to put this disclaimer into my blog post. I won’t go into the Rock Band vs. Guitar Hero battle too much here, but let me just briefly mention this tidbit of information in case you were unaware. Harmonix, the geniuses responsible for Rock Band, Rock Band 2, The Beatles: Rock Band, and even the iPod game called Phase (among many other games), STARTED THE GUITAR HERO FRANCHISE. That’s right, the two “headliners” in the music game industry, Rock Band and Guitar Hero, were both originally spearheaded by the company that now exclusively handles Rock Band. The original Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero 2 were good games because Harmonix was behind them. You have a company called Neversoft to thank for the sheer crappiness of everything from Guitar Hero 3 onward.

So, for those of you who were previously ignorant to this and feel the need to run around screaming “Rock Band is such a rip-off of Guitar Hero” now have a reason to keep your forked tongues behind your teeth, because technically Guitar Hero World Tour is a rip-off of Rock Band! (I know music games in general aren’t the brain children of Harmonix, but they certainly managed to improve and expand music games like no other!)

Do you love geeking out with plastic instruments as much as I do? Do you also recognize that Rock Band is far superior to the post-Guitar Hero 2 music games? Or perhaps you’d like to comment on how much you love advertising for companies who’ve made an impression on you? No matter what your comments, feel free to post them below. Thanks for reading the Quality Logo Products blog!

(Please note that the opinions expressed in this post are mine personally and not the opinions of Quality Logo Products, Inc.)

Jill Tooley

Jill has been obsessed with words since her fingers could turn the pages of a book. She’s a hopeless bibliophile who recently purchased a Kindle after almost 6 years of radical opposition, and she loves stumbling upon new music on Pandora. Random interests include (but are not limited to) bookstores, movie memorabilia, and adorable rodents. Jill writes for the QLP blog and assists with the company’s social media accounts. You can connect with Jill on Google+.


  1. HarmonixSean

    RT @qualitylogo: "Rock Out with Your Brand Out: Why Rock Band Merchandise Kicks Ass!" (QLP blog about @RockBa …

  2. Gamsusalk

    I actually love your writing style, very interesting. Don’t give up and keep penning. I’m excited to browse through a lot more of your own posts, cheers!

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