Pokemon Go Popularity: A Marketing Tool?

By Nick Alter
July 28, 2016

pokemon go popularity

Pokemon Go Popularity is Real

Pokemon Go popularity is astounding. They’re everywhere – people wandering in crowds around parks, malls, and cities, phones out, playing the augmented reality application, Pokemon GO. Around 4 million people per day play the popular mobile game, using their phone’s GPS to find cute little creatures called Pokemon. The game rewards real-world exploration, encouraging players to visit real-world locations that double as in-game checkpoints to collect items and battle other players. With so many people playing (myself included), it’s no wonder everyone from local businesses to multi-national corporations are trying to cash in on the cultural phenomenon. Using these techniques, it’s easy to turn Pokemon into profit by driving players into your stores and creating new opportunities for customer engagement.

“So you wanna be a master of Pokemon (Go)?”

It’s fairly easy for businesses to cash in on the Pokemon Go popularity. In-app purchases or a little playful advertising are already helping businesses become Pokemon Marketing Masters.

Lure Pokemon – And Customers!

Many businesses near a PokeStop, an in-game location where players receive necessary items, have seen increased foot traffic in and around their stores. Stores near one of these PokeStops can purchase Lures – modules attached to these checkpoints that draw rare Pokemon – for about $1 per hour. The effect of Lures can be seen and utilized by other Pokemon GO players, a strategy that is already benefitting some restaurants by luring in customers, along with Pikachus.

Playing Along

If your business doesn’t have a PokeStop in sight, worry not – there are plenty of ways to get in on the Pokemon popularity. Acknowledging the popularity of the game through promotions based on in-game achievements or rewarding players that use the app in their stores.

@Brands: Where’s the nearest Charmander?

Social-savvy brands interacting with players have already received positive feedback from consumers. With roughly 1.6 million mentions per day on Twitter, it’s easy to understand why many stores and organizations like the New York Police Department are finding ways to incorporate Pokemon GO into their social media content.

Promoted Locations

Coinciding with the release of the game in Japan, McDonald’s turned their 2,300 Japanese locations into Gyms, places where players go to battle Pokemon. Soon, other businesses will be able to buy sponsored in-game locations as well. According to a recent survey of players, the most-frequented establishments are retail stores that cater to millennials and casual-dining restaurants, so these businesses may want to take note.

Is Pokemon GO a fad?

It’s hard to tell for now how successful the game will be down the road, but it seems promising; Pokemon GO combines a well-loved nostalgic brand with a new technology, integrating nostalgia with innovation. New features will be added soon, such as the ability to trade Pokemon with other players and adding more Pokemon to the game. And as the app continues to launch worldwide, the amount of downloads continues to grow. Looks like for the foreseeable future, Pokemon GO isn’t going to Pokemon GO away.

Gotta Catch ‘Em All!

  • Rachel Lynn Clark, Project Coordinator
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