Pokémon Go: Catching Attention for Businesses Everywhere
By Chris Dobens
What once was a child’s fantasy is now a full-fledged digital reality. On June 6th, 2016, Pokemon GO was released to the world as an Augmented Reality (AR) mobile game that combines real world locations with the fantastic creatures of the 90’s cartoon show. In this mobile game, players are given the opportunity to catch their own Pokemon, pick up supplies at PokeStops and battle at gyms that are located in real places across the globe! It takes the classic Pokemon games that we all used to play on our Nintendo DS’s and turns them into a simulator that gets players off the couch and on the streets catching creatures like Squirtle and Charmander.
Since its release, the game has risen in popularity all over the world. There have been over 7.5 million downloads of the app, meaning that millions of players are unexpectedly getting exercise, getting outside, and socializing. Not only has this new game helped it’s players, it’s also had somewhat of a positive effect on businesses who happen to fall close to or are identified as important locations in the game. In a recent article on NBC news, an advertising agency has been using the location of its in-house coffee shop as an experiment to take advantage of the popular game. The location of the shop is conveniently placed between two “PokeStops,” the shop began purchasing modules that make Pokemon appear more frequently at the location to boost engagement from players. With the use of these modules, the coffee shop became a place for players to level up and just hangout.
There have been other cases where businesses haven’t been as accepting of the popular game, putting up signs outside their doors that read “Pokemon are for playing customers only.” Although this response makes sense with the ideology that local shops have these spaces to make sales, it seems that this app could create a spectrum of opportunities for businesses to utilize clever marketing tactics to improve awareness and income. It will be interesting to see what sort ideas will generate as the mobile game continues to become a popular trend.
If you want to learn more about the Pokemon GO mobile gaming app, click here.