Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past two weeks, you already know that Pokémon fever has gripped the land.
For those of us who played Pokémon from the very beginning in 1996 with the original 151 creatures, this app is a dream come true: the Pokémon are ‘real’ and roaming around our backyards. We can now become the Pokémon masters we were born to be. The augmented-reality game invites you to get off the couch, go outside, flip your cap backwards and get ready to catch them all.
But it’s not just us millennials loving Pokémon Go. The phenomenon also presents a number of cool opportunities for switched-on businesses.
Just for you, we’ve travelled across the land, searching far and wide, walked 90+ km and caught 100+ Pokémon to see which brands have successfully ridden the Pokémon Go wave.
If players want to catch them all, they need to pick up a lot of Pokéballs from Pokéstops. A Pokéstop is a real-world location where trainers can find several items that will be useful when going on an adventure. These landmarks can also be turned into lures (someone adds an item that attracts Pokémon for 30 minutes). Turning a Pokéstop into a lure typically results in a significant number of real-life Pokémon trainers gathering at the same spot for 30 minutes for the chance to catch a rare Pokémon. If you’re a shop/restaurant/bar owner with a Pokéstop nearby, imagine the number of people you could gather around your business for however long you decide.
One of the downsides of the app is that it drains your battery faster than a sprinting Rapidash. Some people have reported that playing for just 40 minutes killed off their phones. This is great news for brands who sell portable chargers! Unsurprisingly, some shops have quickly run out of these products recently.
Several brands have succeeded at turning the phenomenon to their advantage, and Woolworths is a notable example. Even though they do not have any close relation to Pokémon, their social media team was able to hop on board the bandwagon in a quirky and engaging way with a very smart and entertaining post (complete with Poké-themed replies to customer comments).
We also saw a few brands use the phenomenon to highlight their cause. Indeed, a few animal shelters in America rode the trend by offering Pokémon trainers the chance to come and walk one of their dogs.
Following the same model, the Queensland branch of the RSPCA decided to hold similar events.
What businesses have you seen taking advantage of the Pokémon Go craze? Has your organisation jumped on the bandwagon?