Over the past two weeks Pokémon has taken the world (and the lotus823 office) by storm. No, it’s not 1998 and no we’re not playing Gameboy! I’m talking about Pokémon GO, a new augmented reality game launched earlier this month. The game has Pokémon trainers around the world hooked and is racking up record-breaking returns for the once struggling Nintendo.

It’s hard to remember a cultural phenomenon of such epic proportions, but as you can expect brands are seizing on the opportunity. From local mom and pop shops to major corporations, marketers everywhere are capitalizing on the Pokémon craze. Read on as we explore some examples.

Gotta Catch A Discount: What To Launch Today

One of the unique aspects of Pokémon GO is that the game requires users explore the world around them in search of Pokémon. Brick and mortar businesses looking to boost foot traffic have taken to social media, offering discounts to Pokémon trainers who visit their shop or restaurant. Sam’s Club for example is offering players a free cookie and one day shopping pass if they visit their local club. This is an intriguing concept, one that could drive up membership numbers.

The Future of a Fad: Plan for Tomorrow

As we learned from Pokémon’s first wave of popularity in the 1990s, all things must come to an end. It’s inevitable that Pokémon GO will become old news, bowing to the next viral craze. Whether that day is next week or in a few months remains to be seen. Until then marketers can take advantage of public interest in a variety of ways.

  • In-app purchases have allowed businesses near designated “Pokéstops” to cash in. One pizzeria in New York experienced a whopping 75% increase in business after spending $10 on a “lure”. This notified players that they were more likely to find Pokémon in the shop, thus increasing foot traffic and sales.
  • The game’s first Sponsored Locations went live earlier this week in Japan, with McDonald’s using the ads in its restaurants across the nation. Should this feature hit the USA it could play a major role in the upcoming holiday shopping season. Imagine a Black Friday sale where you could catch a rare Pokémon…only in your local Best Buy store. The opportunity for marketers are endless, but the time to capitalize is now.

It’s been a fascinating few weeks as we ride the wave of Pokémon fever. The app has provided millions of users with endless enjoyment and given marketers renewed creativity. Sometimes the best ideas come from the most unexpected places.

Have you incorporated Pokémon GO into your marketing strategy? Tell us how in the comments below!

 

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