Korg is a synthesizer/effects pedal company that’s been around for decades. While they’ve always had great products, they never got the media attention of Roland or Moog. But that’s been changing fast. Korg has been killing the competition lately with great digital products and brilliant marketing ideas. Last year, they put out the iElectribe, a full-featured beatbox for the iPad. Sure, at $9.99 it’s a pricey iPad app, but considering it’s a full drum machine and sequencer that should cost $200, it’s a steal. The iElectribe was a huge hit and deservedly so. They also made an iPad version of their legendary MS-20 synthesizer. A digital recreation of an analog classic.
“Big deal,” you’re thinking. “So they made a better iPad drum machine.” On Monday they one-upped themselves with a skilled marketing idea. They had British pop legend Gorillaz create a skinned version of iElectribe that looks beat up. Exactly like it would look if a bunch of raggedy teens owned it. Plastered with stickers, wires falling out, tape holding the sides together, even a chewed-up pencil sitting on it.
The Gorillaz look is cool enough to make a lot of DJs buy it (and it’s also $9.99), but here’s what makes it even more appealing:
- The unique look, which I discussed earlier.
- Several dozen loops and tracks by the Gorillaz, in fact ALL the tracks on it are by Gorillaz—no Korg tracks.
- It’s limited to 10,000 copies, making it a rare application—a novelty considering apps on the iPad can’t be copied off onto other machines.
- Gorillaz included tracks from their new single (The Fall) to play with and edit. Genius.
Did I buy a second copy of the iElectribe simply to get the Gorillaz version? You bet I did and judging from Twitter this week, I’m not alone.