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Pokémon Go: What Advertisers Need to Know

August 9th, 2016   ||    by Callie Wheeler   ||    No Comments

Pokémon Go was released just over a month ago, and it has spurred adoption on a viral scale. After only a few days, the game topped iOS’s App Store charts, and all over the country players have been scouring their towns for Pokémon.

In the ever-evolving landscape of advertising, there’s a new player in town, with the app announcing the addition of sponsored locations. What does this change mean for advertisers, and how can they tap into the app’s popularity?

New Meaning to Location-Based Advertising

This announcement gives a whole new meaning to location-based advertising. Business Insider shared Niantic (the company behind the app) CEO John Hanke’s thoughts on sponsored locations, calling them “an inducement that drives foot traffic.” Brands will be able to pay so that their locations are “gyms” or “pokéstops,” attracting players looking for those rare Pokémon.

Businesses that were unofficial stops have already seen benefits and have begun advertising on their own, hoping the happy coincidence will continue to drive traffic and business.

Rather than targeting customers based on their current locations, this type of advertising in the physical world plays to a brand’s location, pulling the audience in rather than chasing them. The opportunities this kind of interaction provides are promising, especially when considering Pokémon Go’s numbers. Business Insider reported 3 percent of Americans opened the app last week, just behind Twitter’s numbers.

Thinking Like the App

To most thoroughly capitalize on Pokémon Go’s success, brands should consider how best to mirror the game with their advertising. Adweek highlighted the app’s emotional and social elements. The app’s emotional connection is found in its users’ past relationship with Pokémon, providing brands with similar connections a great opportunity to highlight their place in users’ lives. For example, brands that used to advertise during the Pokémon television show could incorporate that past artwork to create a nostalgia for the experience of watching the TV show.

The social element is also a great opportunity for brands to make sure their ads and locations are incorporating a social aspect, like social media tags, SnapChat filters, buy-one-get-one coupons, and more. These ideas not only mirror the game, but also provide opportunities for word-of-mouth sharing and growth.

Pokémon Go proves users are excited about engaging applications that incorporate social play, emotional connections, and innovative ideas. Brands can learn from the app and embrace this opportunity to reach their audiences in a new and exciting way.

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