Augmented reality, Pokémon Go and a real opportunity


As you might have guessed, it has not taken long for the marketing experts to latch onto Pokémon Go, the latest augmented reality game to take the world by storm. For those who have been asleep for the last few weeks, Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game which allows players to collect virtual Pokémon characters across the globe. The game is very simple, very easy to follow and you only need to look at the newspapers today to see how many people have “caught the bug”.

So, how can you use Pokémon Go to compliment your online marketing activities?

Simple yet effective

When you consider that all you need to play Pokémon Go is a smart phone and the Pokémon Go app it is not difficult to see why it has caught on. You simply scour the region, with some players walking miles each day, and when you near one of the fictitious Pokémon characters your phone will start to buzz. You then capture the Pokémon by throwing Poké Balls at the creature which appears on your mobile phone camera screen as if it was really in front of you.

Augmented reality Pokémon Go

Marketing opportunities

There is an array of very interesting marketing opportunities using the Pokémon Go game which includes: –

PokéStops and Poké Gyms

If you were to learn that there are so-called PokéStops, where you collect tools and accessories, and Poké Gyms, where you train your Pokémon to fight others, can you begin to see the branding potential? These locations are based upon real life landmarks and there is speculation that very soon companies will be able to bid to have both PokéStops and Poké Gyms on their premises. Can you imagine the potential increase in footfall?

Poké Lures

Another very interesting aspect of the “game” is to purchase Poké Lures which you then drop outside of your business premises. These Poké Lures have a lifespan of 30 minutes and increase the rate at which Pokémon are able to spawn. You can already buy the right to place a virtual Poké Lure outside of your premises at which point you can sit back and wait for the Pokémon trainers to come running!

Maintaining exclusivity

The whole point of Pokémon Go is the fact that the Pokémon you are chasing do take some finding with many players walking mile upon mile each day for their next capture. The rarity of these creatures, the location of which is dictated by geo-coordinates, is vital to the game as is exclusive branding. In order to maintain interest, the cost of branding opportunities will be relatively high. This will allow the game to retain the rarity factor and it is likely that only a small number of branded properties will be available in any one area.

Indeed many of the offers expected to be available in the future, such as Pokémon markers with a 20% discount offer on your goods or services, will be limited by time constraints. This should effectively allow different businesses in the same area to have an exclusive period of time during which they are the focus of all Pokémon trainers in the region.


Jumping into the dark

Many experts believe that the Pokémon Go phenomenon would have been nowhere near as successful without the Nintendo name. There is very little doubt that Nintendo has played a blinder with its marketing and coding partners. There is also no doubt that the opportunity to advertise and host a variety of different markers and Pokémon characters in your premises will become more readily available very quickly.

We may see a bidding process for branded Pokémon marketing tools, accessories and locations and with popularity yet to peak (with a number of other countries set to come on board fairly shortly) there will likely be a frenzy of interest. However, the ability to monitor Pokémon trainers in your area and potentially offer deals and discounts via their telephone could prove priceless in the right hands. Pokémon Go is likely to go down as THE augmented reality game of all time because very rarely do spin-offs and copycats ever reach the same popularity. So far there have been in excess of 30m downloads – the figures speak for themselves!

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