On July 6 people in the North America, Australia and New Zealand stopped what they were doing and started walking the streets, flicking at the screens of their smartphones. No, they weren’t on Tinder or scrolling through Facebook. They were hunting for Pokemon on the latest app Pokemon Go. The innovative augmented reality game captured the hearts of young and old, and quickly skyrocketed to the top of the charts to become the biggest mobile game in history.
Pokemon Go has taken the world by storm. You would have to be entirely off the grid if you haven’t heard about it. Every day a new story hits the news about the game’s influence. Whether it’s the police letting people know it’s not ok to trespass to catch em’ all, or it’s thousands of Australians meeting in Sydney to go on organised Pokemon Go walks, the game is garnering attention unlike anything before.
Not convinced at how much impact this game has had? Within the first three days of its release, Pokemon Go attracted more users than Twitter. While this is impressive, the game is also making waves because it’s retaining its players. On July 14 it was estimated almost 26 million Americans played the game on their iOS or Android device. That’s 3 million more people than the entire population of Australia. SurveyMonkey says the game is still growing in popularity with 4-5 million downloads per day. And the most impressive statistic of them all - approximately 7 out of 10 players return to play the game the next day. Industry standards usually only see 3 out of 10 players returning.
With such high engagement and retention Pokemon Go opens up many interesting and unique opportunities for marketers to make legitimate cut-through with their brands. It has been announced that sponsored Pokestops (landmarks where users can go to stock up on supplies) are coming and there’s strong speculation that McDonald's is set to be one of the first major Pokestop sponsors. However, until that day comes, marketers around the globe are using the game to their business’ advantage. In this post we give you a little bit of inspiration and take a look at four ways savvy brands are embracing the trend.
Doughnut Time were quick to catch on to the Pokemon Go craze and began decorating their Nutella filled donuts as Pokeballs. The change paid off, with users generating their own videos and sharing their Doughnut Time Pokeballs during a Pokemon catch! Brand awareness at its finest. You can bet these doughnuts were big sellers for the popular chain.
Australian Bananas told shoppers to watch out for the Pokemon Mankey hiding in bananas. The post went viral with more the 500 shares, 771 comments and 7,000 likes. The brand awareness generated from this post is more than the company’s ever seen before - it just shows how jumping on a trend early can resonate with an audience.
Melbourne Central’s Pancake Parlour offer Pokemon fans the opportunity to spend the night playing the game with fellow trainers. A $12 entry fee will secure you a short stack of pancakes and a drink. The restaurant also sweetens the deal by setting off lure modules every 30 minutes. This is an in-app purchase that attracts pokemon to a certain location. Store manager Nicole Jackson told the Sydney Morning Herald that the store already held two Pokemon events, selling more than 600 tickets. The store spent $170 on iTunes vouchers to pay for the lures. The investment paid off, they had a 40% increase in customers as a result.
American commercial real estate group Simon Property Group has been pushing shoppers to interact with the app while in their centres. Through social media they’ve spread the word about the pokemon walking the aisles of the shops. They offer free wifi in exchange for an email address and users have been exploring the centre’s many Pokestops in a bid to catch em’ all. Not only are they reporting more foot traffic, but also capturing more email addresses.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a Pokestop near your business. If you’ve got a clever idea to leverage off the hype, you can put in a request to the game’s developer Niantic to have your business listed as a Pokestop.
While it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the craze will die down, we’re willing to bet if you head out tonight you will still spot avid Pokemon fans flicking their screens trying to catch them all. If you want to stay on top of the latest marketing trends download the 2016 CeBIT Australia Digital Marketing Summary Report today.
What are the best Pokemon Go marketing tactics you’ve seen? Tell us in the comments below.