Why should Brands care about Pokemon Go

18 Jul,2016


It’s been a rage since it launched in some parts of the globe on July 6. Although not officially available in India, Pokemon Go has caught on in a big, big way here too. Here’s a report by Ansible, the mobile marketing division of IPG Mediabrands that talks about how the relevance of the all-new platform for brands…


The Trivia

Pokémon Go is a free-to-play location-based augmented reality mobile game, developed by Niantic and published by The Pokémon Company as part of the Pokémon franchise. It was released worldwide in July 2016 for iOS and Android devices.

•Pokémon Go has quickly become a phenomenon in less than a week

The game encourages players to explore their cities, driving real-world traffic for local businesses

•A mass audience is falling in love with augmented reality (AR), opening the door for brands to leverage AR technologies to reach consumers


Pokémon Go was launched on July 6 and became a viral sensation with a week. The new mobile game leverages GPS and cameras on smartphones to simulate the Pokémon-catching experience from the older games in the real world.Mercurial Rise


Scope for Brand Associations

1. PokemonGo players must leave their homes and explore their neighbourhoods and cities, following a digital map that leads them to various characters and locations. Niantic just announced that they are willing to create in-game sponsorship opportunities soon.

2. For now, the game is monetized by in-app purchases by users. Because the game gets users out into the world, there are marketing opportunities surrounding the game

3. While the camera-enabled AR experience built around location services, creates the game’s most share-worthy moments as social feeds. Facebook and Twitter include almost non-stop screenshots from the game in the last week.


How can Brands Leverage

•Brands without physical locations will have a tougher time capitalizing directly on the latest Pokémon craze.

•There would be more opportunities to get in front of Pokémon Go players through in-game ads or sponsorships,

•This is a good time to think about ways for augmented reality to drive new opportunities for your brand. AR can be a great way for customers to envision your products in their lives and to launch digital experiences from signage or product packaging. What we can do now through a smartphone is just the beginning.


How can Retailers Leverage

•The nature of Pokémon Go demands players go outside and walk around. Already, there are stores and cafes seeing a spike in foot traffic because their locations are hotspots in the game. The New York Times reported that one bar in Harrisburg, Va., has started offering discounts to Pokémon Go players on a specific team, while a tea shop in San Francisco offered a “buy one get one” deal to Pokémon Go players.


If one of your locations is lucky enough to be at or near an in-game hotspot known as a PokéStopand you’re willing do a little work and make a few in-app purchases, you can drive even more traffic and sales. L’inizioPizza Bar in Queens used that strategy and boosted sales by an incredible 30%, spending


Some FAQs by Brands

Q. Can my brand buy [insert game feature] for sponsorship?

A. No, not yet but we are watching this space and the CEO of Niantic says they are working on it.

Q. Can I use guerilla marketing techniques to get my brand into the game?

A. Not really but see below for a way to use guerilla marketing to get foot traffic in the real world.

Q. What are lures and what is crowd-luring?

A. “Lure modules” are an item in the game that attract Pokémon to a PokéStoplocation for 30 minutes. Anyone in the area can take advantage of the lure and they usually attract crowds of players. The lures last for 30 minutes and, if bought in increments of $100, cost $1.17 per hour.

Q. How do I turn my retail location into a PokéStop or Gym?

A. Gyms are destinations players to battle with other players’ Pokémons, whereas a PokéStop is a checkpoint that players pass by for a few seconds to get free loot. So far, Niantic has full control over the creation of PokéStops and Gyms.

Q. How does incense work?

A. Incense works similarly to lures, in that it attracts Pokémon, but these should not be used by brands as they only create extra Pokémon for the user deploying them, not for other users in the game. They are not tied to a location the way lures can only be used at PokéStops.

Q. Can I buy lures to add them to my store?

A. Lures are purchased in the in-game store with Pokecoins, which are purchased with real money.


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