| 3 min
July 13th, 2016
From: “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” to recapturing the global gaming market…
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, it’s the subject you can’t avoid; Pokémon GO, the augmented reality app, was launched last Wednesday and took less than 24 hours to become the top-grossing app on IOS in the U.S. The game uses a player’s mobile GPS to show a virtual version of their real-world location on screen, but populated with Pokémon characters.In just under a week since its release, the game has truly taken the world by storm, with its makers, Niantic Labs (in partnership with Nintento and Pokémon), having to pause and stagger its global release due to unprecedented demand on servers.
What’s even more mind-blowing is that in the app’s short lifespan, it has managed to overtake dating app phenomenon Tinder, and is on track to surpass social media giant Twitter, in terms of daily active users!
With that being said, we wouldn’t be the intuitive agency we are, if we didn’t discuss how the seemingly fading 90s’ fad that was Pokémon, has made such an explosive comeback and revived its brand.
So, what does this have to do with Marketing?
Virtual Reality Through Geo Location
Niantic Labs and Nintento have tapped into something quite unique that clearly works with this app, by incorporating geo location into the game the idea of virtual reality comes to life and really captures the imagination of an audience, a very tangible blend of a made up Universe and real life.
The opportunity for brands to interact within these parallel worlds is enormous, from paid add-on features and product placement to subliminal advertising Pokémon GO, and apps like it, are helping to normalise this type of interaction.
In an increasingly repetitive world of crowd following and plagiarising, this concept makes for a refreshing change and will be a game-changer across not only the gaming industry, but amongst advertisers who are undoubtedly now brainstorming various ways to utilise augmented reality in new and exciting ways.
Sense of Community
Not only this, but the GO app has tapped into a much needed sense of community, at a time when the world is increasingly divided. The idea of being sat alone in a darkened room playing video games has been challenged, and now gamers are not only outside and walking around in the real world but they are interacting with the hundreds of other people all with a common interest. This helps to create a force of momentum that can be exploited further through the digital world using social media, hashtagging, and blogs.
Pokémon GO’s developer, Niantic, have confirmed that sponsored locations would feature in the game in future. The idea is that the developer could charge retailers and restaurants to become sponsored Pokémon GO’s locations, which would incentivise people to visit to capture a Pokémon character. This idea is something that will excite marketers as a revolutionary new way to entice a captive audience.
Reviving a Fading Brand
With the incorporation of the modern day marvel that is geo location, Pokémon have latched on to the concept of augmented reality in the most sophisticated of ways. Creating an app that pulls on the nostalgic heartstrings of the children of the 90s.
Using a unique mix of imagination and technology they have managed to revive a brand that, though fondly remembered, was way past its sell by date – trading card games are undoubtedly a thing of the past. This, combined with a young population ready to jump on social media and become part of a viral frenzy, has been the perfect mix to give Pokémon a breath of fresh air back into its brand.