Unless you’re a hermit living in the Himalayas, you’ve probably heard of Pokemon Go. It has become a global cultural phenomenon since its launch a few weeks ago. For the uninitiated, Pokemon GO is a free-to-play Augmented Reality exergame for smartphones based on the Pokemon universe. Underneath all its layers, it is a modern day marketing powerhouse.
Image credit- Shutterstock
A bevy of businesses have reacted to the Pokemon Go rage in their own ingenious ways.
See how businesses are cashing in on the Pokemon Go craze:
A Best Buy employee displaying Poke-Offers ( Source: Imgur )
A pub advertising their Pokestop status ( Source: Reddit )
This Church is doing it right! ( Source: Reddit )
The game collects a lot of user data. Your Google name, Gmail address, your physical location, your IP address and the most recent web page that you visited are captured by servers. Big Data is essential for bigger and better marketing campaigns, and Niantic knows that. I can imagine a lot of tech and retail giants lining up to get their hands on this data goldmine.
Product placement in video games has been done in the past with varied success. Expect the same from Pokemon Go in the future. Sponsored in-game content in the form of upgrades and items could be a massive opportunity as the game is a ready-made mass advertising platform. The digital sleuths at Google won’t take long to figure out a way to put AdWords in the game. The only challenge is to not let the ads disrupt the gaming experience.
Niantic has confirmed that they will partner with businesses in the future to create sponsored Gyms and Pokestops. The biggest news coming out regarding this is McDonald’s sponsorship deal. It will be initially implemented in Japan, converting more than 3,000 McDonald’s restaurants into sponsored Gyms. Similar tie-ups are in the works the world over.
If you happen to be an SME business owner, here is how you can leverage the Pokemon craze for attracting more business:
If your business happens to be a Pokestop or a Gym, or is situated close to one, then you can use the “Lure module”. They are available as an in-game purchase, which attracts Pokemon to your location for 30 minutes. For $60, you can have an exponential increase in visitors for 30 minutes at your establishment. Maybe you could interest them in your wares once they are done hunting.
This is a golden opportunity, to be grabbed with both hands, to advertise your SME. Getting your brand associated with the game is a chance to get easy publicity by word-of-mouth marketing.
Business Standard revealed an interesting story about California-based fitness startup GOQUii. They have been organising fitness-based events called Active Sundays for a while, usually attracting 40-50 people. A Pokewalk was organised by them in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi, inviting individuals to play the game while working out.
The event was an unprecedented success with over 500 people attending. It quickly became the largest gathering in the event’s 18-month timeline. The use of Lure Modules went down well with budding Pokemon hunters, and the brand generated favourable amounts of goodwill.
Summing it all up, these Infographics convey ways in which SMB manufacturers and retailers in India can cash in on the Pokemon craze.
Image credit- Zepo.in
With time, improved hardware on smartphones will usher in a new era of mobile apps that will exist in an Augmented Reality ecosystem supported by enhanced geolocation abilities. The game has started a technological revolution that will have deep consequences on the business and marketing ecosystem in the future.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)