Pokemón Go Advertising is Now a Reality
Pokemón Go, the latest trend in 2016. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, if not I have no idea where you’ve been living. To tell you the truth, when Pokemón Go came out I was skeptical, I thought “Oh no, not this. People will be going crazy about this, not another Candy Crush or FarmVille game”.
I did not want to download the game, not because I didn’t like Pokemón as a kid, because believe me, I had the Pokemón binder with the plastic sheets holding my very important Pokemón cards. I would bring them to school and show all of my girlfriends how many cards I had and we would even trade cards.
That being said, I have nothing against Pokemón. In fact my favorite Pokemón was and still is Eevee and in case you were wondering, I’m a generation 1 Pokemón kind of person. All the other Pokemóns that come after that I’ve never seen or heard about them before (yes, I had to Google “list of Pokemóns” and saw that there are different generations).
So when the game came out I was hesitant. I couldn’t believe my best friend from Los Angeles called me screaming over how excited she was that she caught a Pokemón. So I thought, might as well download it and see what the fuss is about.
What You Need to Know About Pokemón Go
Pokemón Go is a reality based game app developed by Niantic that lets you roam around in the real world while collecting and tracking Pokemóns. If you open the app and go down the street odds are that you will encounter a Pokemón or will be tracking one nearby.
All you need to do is catch it, and just like the animated TV series some Pokemóns won’t go into your PokeBall that easily. I learned that the hard way while tracking Pokemóns with a friend this week.
Every time you collect a Pokemón you will gain points and level up, there are different medals and prizes that you will collect among the way. One of the benefits that the game has brought is that it’s getting people to go outside and walk around in real life, you are not sitting in front of a computer or a TV screen like most games in the market.
The bad thing is that it drains the heck out of your battery life, it’s incredible how much battery the app uses up. Since Pokemón Go is a location based app, it needs constant GPS tracking, so it makes sense but still, WOW.
Pokemón Go and the Marketing World
Since Pokemón Go came out in July, the app hasn’t gone unnoticed in the marketing community. In fact, retailers and restaurants are using the game as an advantage to drive players into their businesses.
As a player in the game, you can buy these items that are called “Lure Module” this item helps to draw in a certain number of Pokemóns that appear in the game to the PokeStop of your choice.
Attract Walking Traffic to Your Location
The “Lure Module” works only if you are at a nearby PokeStop, lasts up to 30 minutes and for about $10.00 you can buy enough lures that will last you hours and that way you will keep driving traffic into to your business. The businesses that have used the lure module have reportedly seen a business increase of 75%. For example:
Some local businesses will give free Wi-Fi and discounts to Pokemón players based on their levels and will take advantage of the PokeStops in the game. PokeStop are stop locations on the Pokemón Go map where you can get more PokeBalls and other nifty items. These nearby PokeStops businesses have taken advantage and used them as “unofficial” stops in the game.
Businesses are also using the Training Gyms as a way to bring in customers. Training Gyms in the game are used to train your Pokemón for battle, since that is the whole purpose of the game. As seen in the image above, the same pizzeria is using that strategy to draw in customers. If the player takes over the nearby gym, they will reward the player with a free fountain drink.
Increase Business with In-App Purchase
If you have a business and are looking to jump into the Pokemón Go hype, downloading the game and buying the items that attract Pokemóns is the way to go. Buying these two items will guarantee you Pokemóns at your location.
You just have to go into the app, in the Shop section, and buy Pokemón coins, prices range from $0.99-$99.99. In order to buy the Incense and Lure Module you need Pokemón coins, the more Pokemón coins the better.
The Incense will draw wild Pokemóns to your location for 30 minutes and the Lure Module will draw in Pokemóns to a nearby PokeStop for 30 minutes.
Organize Pokemón Events at your Desired Location
Since buying incense and lure modules is so easy, organizing a Pokemón event at your business or retail store is a breeze. Just advertise it and when the date comes, you will have a lot of Pokemón Trainers (these are how users are called in the game) lining up to catch Pokemóns at your location.
Just remember, the incense and lure module lasts 30 minutes only and will only be available at the location you choose to open it. So, if you’re a retail/ business chain and want to do events at the same time, you will need a Pokemón account for each location, that way when it comes time for the event/promotion you will unlock the incense or lure module and have people coming by in no time.
Become a PokeStop
You can also request to become a PokeStop, this option is only available for businesses and with good reason. In order to request to be a PokeStop, you would need to go to this support page and file a request, you may also attach a picture of your location.
The only downside is that, since you are requesting to become a PokeStop through the developer Niantic, they do not say what is the criteria needed to become a PokeStop. Also, they don’t specify how quickly you will become a stop in the game. So basically is a win or lose situation, but it doesn’t hurt by trying it out and see what happens.
Advertise Your Business on Pokemón Go
In a recent interview, Niantic CEO John Hanke told the Financial Times that “sponsored locations” will be coming to the game. By sponsoring one or various locations in the game, it will provide retailers and other businesses to be featured in the virtual game map and will have a new revenue stream. With Pokemón Go taking the world by storm this has been an announcement I’ve been waiting to happen.
Hanke said that these sponsored location will be treated as a “cost per visit” basis, if you’re well known with Google’s term “cost per click” then, it should be very familiar methodology.
Of course with that many advertisers they will be wanting to be featured in the game, but there is the possibility that it will drive players away. A similar thing happened with FarmVille, too many ads drove its users away.
From what we can gather, since its July 6th launch, Pokemón Go is not going anywhere. It’s just starting to branch out with new opportunities, and that is a good thing for marketers, this is a new way to reach your target audience. It will be interesting to see what comes with this game and how in-game advertising will take over.
If this article still hasn’t convinced you on downloading Pokemón Go, read this. Since it’s launch, the most recent data from July 11th shows that Pokemón Go has around 21 million active users. Just to put things into perspective, the app is the largest mobile game app in US History in terms of daily users. Data also shows a decrease of other app usage such as Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat and an increase in Pokemón Go.
If you’re a business, I suggest submitting a request to the developer to become a PokeStop and also buying the incense and lure module item. Buying these items guarantees you traffic to your location, and advertising that you will be launching these items at a certain time or day will drive even more traffic.