Emerging Technology in Advertising, Mobile Apps

Pokemon Go: A marketer’s dream

There has been a lot of press about the new Pokemon Go app since it came out.   There have been people caught driving whilst playing it, entire suburbs taken over at night by people playing in what were once quiet parks and hundreds of middle aged heads down catching them on their way to work.

It’s no wonder, given its birth on the old Nintendo and the target market at the time would now be in their early 30s.   It has been downloaded over 100 million times but what potential does it offer beyond just being a once-addictive game? Lots.  

Having been 20 years in the making and combines augmented reality, gaming and location based services. It’s encouraging people out and about and offers plenty of opportunity for marketing for small businesses, and a new revenue stream for the game makers.  

The game is based on a freemium model at the moment, where you don’t pay to download or play but pay for things to use within the game. Its genius is that in future, it will have a self-perpetuating revenue model which, so long as people continue to use the game, will continue to make money by itself.  

The premise of the game is that you need to “catch” pokemon and there are different means of doing that: – Walk around with the app open and catch them as you find them – Use a potion to lure more pokemon to your area to catch them – Go to a pokemon “gym” to battle other pokemon and get points – Go to a pokemon “stop” to pickup more potions  

We’ve already seen businesses take advantage of these to increase footfall to their business. McDonald’s in Sydney used a combination of Pokemon lure potions and Facebook advertising to tell potential customers that they were using a lure potion between certain hours of a day to lure not just Pokemon, but customers who wanted to catch Pokemon too.
McDonalds Using Pokemon for marketing | G67

McDonalds Using Pokemon for marketing | G67


There will come a time when we foresee that small businesses will be able to pay to become a Pokemon stop or gym in order to bring more footfall to their retail stores. It benefits both the business and the game maker by bringing new customers to a store and keeping users engaged in the game.

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