Nintendo and Niantic’s latest hit, Pokémon Go, is a fun and innovative take on augmented reality and Geocaching (the hunting for and finding of hidden objects based on GPS Coordinates found on the internet). Players walk out into the real world and capture Pokémon using their smartphone’s camera. Augmented reality, geolocation and hit mobile games are nothing new; they have been in existence for the past decade. What makes Pokémon Go so successful is the targeting of the millennial generation through a mass-consumption nostalgia product. Pokémon was popular during the 1990s, a time when millennial children were collecting playing cards with Japanese game characters and watching the popular cartoon series. These millennial children are now grown and make up approximately 25% of the nation’s population. More and more companies like Nintendo are now targeting the often ignored millennial consumer due to growing disposable income and proven brand loyalty of the demographic. Needless to say, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations are recognizing this generation’s spending power and are eager to engage them by using non-traditional means of advertising. Organizations can take advantage of the latest Pokémon Go app in order to attract individuals to their location.
Capitalize on Nearby “Gyms” and “Pokéstops”
Gyms and Pokéstops are real-world landmarks and locations that have been registered in the game. Players can visit these locations to battle other Pokémon and receive free items to use while they play Pokémon Go. Currently, businesses are not able to request for their location to become a Pokéstop, but that may change in the near future as Niantic continues to release game updates. Until then, there are still many ways businesses can utilize these virtual hotspots to their advantage.
Advertise Nearby Pokéstops Outside Your Location: If you can reach a Pokéstop or a Gym from where you’re located, advertise it! The Cradle of Aviation Museum and Education Center, an interactive aerospace museum on Long Island, is advertising 9 Pokéstops and 2 Gyms near their location right on their website. They are also offering a major discount to all players who register for their Pokémon Go Meet-Up, which is happening this Saturday. Creating foot traffic to your place of business through use of the Pokéstops and Gyms can lead to increased sales and popularity.
Place a Lure!: In addition to advertising a nearby stop, you can also enhance it with an item called a Lure Module (see photo). The Lure Module will cause Pokémon to show up more frequently at your location, creating even more potential for players to show up at your business. A player can make an in game purchase of 8 Lure Modules for 680 Pokécoins, which last 30 minutes each. If a business were to spend $100, you could buy 21 8-packs resulting in 84 hours of continuous lure time. Used strategically, this could give your business well over a week of “Poké-Advertisement” and increased foot traffic to your location.
Set Up Group Poké-hunts!: If you want to appeal to the trainer population, you can set up an event that’s currently being referred to as a Poké-hunt. Poké-hunts consist of a group of people that get together and walk along a route, which features a bunch of Pokéstops and opportunities to catch various rare or interesting Pokémon. Just set a date and time, plan a route, and have trainers meet up at your business to start their journey. Employees and customers of your business can wear T-Shirts and lead the trip so that your name and logo is noticeable throughout the hunt. Once the hunt is completed, players will be more willing to support your business and have the potential to become loyal customers in the future.
Pay Attention to the Different Teams
When Pokémon Go players reach level 5, they’re asked to choose which team they align with when it comes to training Pokémon. They can choose between Mystic, the blue team that focuses on the many mysteries surrounding Pokémon; Valor, the red team that fights for honor and glory; or Instinct, the yellow team that relies on gut feeling and natural ability to progress as trainers.
Offer Incentives to Players of Certain Teams: Some businesses have chosen to offer discounts to certain teams. This makes that location a great meet-up area for players on that team. Businesses can also offer special discounts to a self-chosen “Team of the Day” to open up to a variety of players.
Create a Competition: Locations that are fortunate enough to be selected as Gyms have been seen offering discounts and prizes to whichever players are currently in control of their Gym.
Recently, not-for-profits have been encouraging Pokémon Go trainers to give back to their community.
Create Campaigns Based on How the App Works: In order to play Pokémon Go, players are required to walk around a lot. There are several industries that can take advantage of that in order to attract volunteers. For example, there’s a dog shelter in Indiana that gives players the opportunity to catch Pokémon while walking their dogs. It’s a great way to give the dogs a little bit of human interaction while using the incentivized walking of the app.
There are also dozens of apps, such as Charity Miles and WoofTrax that donate to charity based on how far the user walks. If players were to use one of these apps while going on long excursions for Pokémon, they could use the time that they spend playing video games to giveback to organizations like Habitat for Humanity, or your local animal shelter.
Pokémon Go is the sort of trend that marketers everywhere have been waiting for. The app has already been downloaded more times than Twitter and millions of players are engaged and ready for more. It doesn’t look like the Pokémon Go fad will end any time soon, so go out and get social, enjoy some fresh air, and support your local PokéFriendly businesses and charities!
Thanks to Reddit Users: