The augmented reality game can be an incredible outlet for creative marketers.
In less than a week, millions — that’s right, millions — of children and adults with a strong sense of childlike wonder have downloaded an app that encourages them to venture out in the world in search of….Pokémon.
Pokemon GO is just insane right now. This is in Central Park. It's basically been HQ for Pokemon GO. pic.twitter.com/3v2VfEHzNA
— Jonathan Perez (@IGIhosT) July 11, 2016
But Pokémon Go can be used to catch a whole lot more than a Jigglypuff. Many companies and content marketers are finding ways to use the addictive app to drive sales.
Of course, the most obvious Pokémon Go winner is its creator, Nintendo. Although the app is free, players can buy objects using real money to help lure a Rattata their way. Furthermore, according to the Wall Street Journal, the Nintendo stock has risen considerably — increasing by 25% the first Monday after the apps release and another 13% come Tuesday.
But other businesses are benefiting as well.
The app enables Pokémon to gather almost anywhere in the city. And while places like the Arlington Cemetery and the Holocaust Museum have respectfully asked people to refrain from playing on their grounds, the game has brought substantial foot traffic and sales to local restaurants and stores. According to Business Insider, customers are deciding where they’ll go to dinner based on what Pokémon they can catch there.
Pokemon GO is forcing me to change my restaurant habits. Pokemon GO is a force of nature…
— Artsy Omni GO (@artsyomni) July 10, 2016
We actually got a review complaining that there was no Pokemon in the restaurant
— ♡Erica♡ (@ericaaaburt) July 11, 2016
Pokémon Go also allows businesses to spend $10 a day on “Lure Models” which attract more Pokémon (and thus customers) to their location. And it pays off — Bloomberg reports that food and drink sales spiked 30% at a Queens pizzeria after making the purchase.
“Location-based advertising should get a boost in augmented-reality gaming because of games like Pokémon Go. It’s going to spur more intellectual property towards geo-tagging, which can have a direct impact on visitation,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Jitendra Waral said.
But to truly take advantage of the opportunity, businesses are getting more creative than just purchasing Lure Models.
PC Mag reports that some New York bars are banding together to form a Pokémon Go bar crawl, Diamond Bar in California is offering to buy a Lure Model for every 15 drinks sold, and some clubs are throwing Pokémon Go themed parties.
Social media has also been a huge component of the marketing push. Zoe’s Kitchen in Texas offered a $25 gift card as a prize to people who tweet them photos catching Pokémon in the restaurant.
— Zoës Kitchen (@ZoesKitchen) July 11, 2016
And this is just the beginning.
Pokémon Go cross promotions can benefit anyone from tennis shoe manufacturers:
On DSW's website searching for new shoes to walk in. Yes, I am making this purchase because of Pokemon Go.
— Kim Bhasin (@KimBhasin) July 13, 2016
To divorce attorneys.
— Joe Kemp (@joekemp) July 12, 2016
Pika-choose your content marketing strategy wisely.