Ready, Set with Pokemon Go!

31 Aug,2016


By Anuka Roy


Have you heard someone recently shout, “Yes! I have caught them all” or a person almost bumping in to you while walking, because they were glued on their smart phone? If the answers to the above questions are yes, then you might have got a hint by now. But if you have no clue about what is being written, well, we are talking about the location-based game, Pokémon Go. It is developed by American software company Niantic, that requires players to walk around neighbourhoods, to capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, which appear on the screen as if they  were in the same real world location as the player.


Now, that we have introduced the game that has been creating buzz all around, let us try and understand it from the Indian perspective. Dream Theatre has renewed its master Licensing Agreement for Pokémon in India with The Pokémon Company for Content Syndication and Licensing & Merchandising for India and South Asia. The company has rights for TV/digital syndication, consumer products, promotions, publishing and home entertainment. Dream Theatre is a leading licensing representation company and manages the licensing programmes for Pokémon, DreamWorks Animation, Rovio, Twentieth Century Fox, FIFA 2018, Real Madrid, AC Milan for India and South Asia, among other brands.


Said Jiggy George, Founder and CEO of Dream Theatre Pvt Ltd, “The game is just unique and phenomenal but the most important thing is, it is not about the gameplay, where a lot of people will come and do the same thing. The fact is, it is all about Pokémon. It is an intersection of different generations. From a kid’s perspective there is resonance for the brand; a massive nostalgia is there for the early jobgoers who grew up on a Cartoon Network generation many years back. Then there are gamers who have no idea about Pokémon, which is a minority, who just love the gameplay. But what you see today is an intersection of pure love for the brand Pokémon meeting a superb gameplay,” about the latest trend of the game. He further adds, “At our end we had already done a fair bit of launches in merchandise in kids across several categories. But what this has done with Pokémon Go is to open up this market for adults- adult apparel, merchandise essentially in categories like accessories, electronic accessories for phone and computers and things like that.”


Dream Theatre is working closely with Disney to relaunch the show on Hungama TV from Season One onwards with a 360-degree plan in October 2016, giving audiences a chance to follow the series from the genesis. Viacom 18’s Voot is its VOD partner. Speaking about the relationship, George said, “We have a relationship with Pokémon which is across various businesses. We have rights for Content syndication. So, we place content for Pokémon on VOD,digital, television etc. We also have rights for consumer products, for promotions, for publishing, for home entertainment and this relationship are in India and South Asia. We just got our contract renewed which goes on for the next three years.”


The trend-shift has made it a good proposition for companies, brands as well as retailers, given the higher purchasing power ability of the older audience and the product possibilities across categories.  With this resurgences, Pokémon is one of the first brands in India to see appeal cut across both kids and adults. “I believe that FMCG brands could use it as a tool to run promotions to increase sales or build loyalty to their consumers. Retailers, who are going to be stocking a lot of products for Pokémon, will definitely see secondary sales. You will also see retail based promotions which will allow more audience to come in to the stores. I think it would be a mix between promotions, product and content,” he said.


But in the past we have noticed that trends fade away soon due to the ever-shrinking attention span of our consumers. What is his take on this regarding Pokémon Go?  “People know this character, they grew up on this character and there is nostalgia. Secondly, this is not a casual game. This a gameplay which is very different, hooked up to Google Maps and it is almost like a treasure hunt. That engages people for a very long time. By October this year, you will see tons of products at retail. We come from a market where we are a follower market versus the kind of market that starts up with a trend. The game play is very different and it will engage for a long time. And, there is enough content, whether it is on VOD with Voot or if you look at the Disney universe there is content which will grow in next three years,” said the Founder and CEO.


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