How are brands leveraging Pokemon Go in marketing? It’s been a month since the phenomenon that is Pokemon Go swept the globe – doing more for the price of Nintendo’s shares, than Kanye West ever did for Taylor Swift’s popularity.
Walking past groups of people huddled over their phones pointing to a Poke Stop close by, it’s impossible to deny that the Pokemon Go app, which surpassed the number of daily users on Twitter and Facebook and broken the record for the biggest U.S mobile game ever in terms of daily active users, is now a bigger social media platform than our favourite titans.
Both positive and negative headlines have hit the news over the past month, from benefits to the increased physical activity and social interaction for players, to users being robbed and not watching where they are going. However, Pokemon Go is an important trial for augmented reality and the first game of its kind to be adopted by the masses. Essentially, the app brings a scavenger hunt with nostalgic characters to your back yard – bringing the social and digital world into reality.
As the popularity grows, so too does a business desire to engage with this captive audience.
Current brand interaction includes businesses checking if they are a PokeStop which drives users to flock to the location without any effort – creating potential sales opportunities and increased attendance at pop ups and/or events. A business can also throw a lure (an in-app purchase) which increases the appearance rate of Pokemon in the surrounding area or check if they are located close to a gym (which is a user battleground).
Majority of brand leverage at the over the past few weeks has been predominately on social media, with opportunistic companies touting their wares with a Pokemon Go focus i.e. tweets and Instagram posts about shoe shops highlighting the trainers that are the best to hunt Pokemon in, restaurants offering free charging cables and discounts at coffee shops to refuel customers after Pokemon hunting. The company behind the app is slowly incorporating sponsored locations – with the first being McDonald’s in Japan, with this approach set to be a big focus on the business model going forward.
Although the longevity of the app remains to be seen, it’s clear that Pokemon Go isn’t going anywhere soon and with such a captive audience – it’s time to catch them all!