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The Power of Pokemon

3 min read

Back to Blog

3 min read

The Power of Pokemon

Posted in Marketing on 9th September 2016 2:00 pm

Who would have thought that a small, yellow monster thought to be relegated to the nostalgia of the early 2000s would be achieving something that marketers have been desperately trying to do for the last 10 years?

Get people out and about into their local community, engaging with a brand physically.

Pichachu and friends have taken the world by storm with the launch of the augmented reality game Pokemon Go,  as adults and children alike take to the streets to “catch ‘em all”.

It is revolutionary in terms of mainstream virtual reality, but also unprecedented in terms of audience engagement.

Instead of a teenager sitting in their bedroom playing Call of Duty with a stranger in Japan over their headset, groups of friends are out in their neighbourhood working together, meeting new people and exploring familiar and new locations.

It has changed the market in terms of engagement with the local area, particularly from a young audience.

So how can local marketers take advantage of this and capitalise on the excitement that this game is building, as more gamers step out of their bedrooms and into your businesses?

If your business is on top of or next to a Poke-stop, you’ll have the ability to drop a ‘lure’ for 30 minutes which will pull Pokemon hunters (and potential customers) to your location.

Maxwell’s Bar and Grill in Covent Garden has tasked one of their employees with purchasing and dropping lures around the restaurant, which attract Pokemon to the area, with the hopes of further increasing the amount of foot traffic.

The company is spending up to £100 per day on lures—but is seeing a £44 return on every £1 spent on in-app purchases. The venue has seen its revenues increase by 26% since Pokemon Go was released in the UK.

Niantic, the developer of Pokemon Go, recently confirmed that sponsored retail locations are coming to the game soon, so there may be even more opportunities to take advantage of this.

pokemon marketing

Pokemon Go users are split into different teams – Instinct, Mystic, or Valor, represented by the colours yellow, blue and red respectively. These teams are hugely competitive.

You can take advantage of this by offering specific offers to the different teams on different days. Becoming part of the fun of the game is a great way to be seen as part of the experience, without seeming to cynically commercialise the experience.

Best Buy in Virginia Beach took this a step further by offering ‘hunting packs’ including travel phone chargers, water and snacks to encourage people in store and embrace the nature of the game.

Promote your free Wi-Fi if available. If you are in an area benefitting from an increased footfall of Pokemon Go players, make sure they can see that you offer free Wi-Fi to draw them in to your shop while they shop and save data!

Don’t forget that this isn’t an exact science. While this can be a great way to draw in more footfall to your business – in reality this audience have not come for you (unless you really are a small, yellow monster from 2001).

You may end up with an increased number of people hanging around your business that have no intention of becoming customers.

But if you do see success, keep your eyes peeled for future opportunities to become Pokestops or Pokemon Gyms, as Nintendo will no doubt see the commercial opportunities in providing local businesses with an increase in customers.

Enjoyed this article? You may enjoy these blogs – Wearable Technology and Virtual Reality: Are you ready to immerse yourself?

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