If you’re an 80’s baby or a 90’s child you may well have dreamed of one day setting out on your wild and whacky journey to become a Pokémon master. Well, now you finally can thanks to augmented reality.
Nintendo, the world’s largest video game company, recently partnered up with Niantic Labs to create Pokémon Go, the interactive game that has taken the world by storm, which was launched on Wednesday 6th July. Now everyone is talking about it and you can see thousands of people outside glued to their phones walking around for miles trying catch Pokémon.
Since the release last Wednesday (6th July) it has had more daily active users than Instagram, Tinder and WhatsApp and is hot on the heels of Twitter. The app is so popular that it has even pushed Nintendo’s share price up by a massive 53.
So, how has Pokémon suddenly re-attracted the imagination of generations it thought it may have lost year’s ago?
A little bit of background
If you aren’t familiar with it, Pokémon is a Japanese franchise created by Satoshi Tajiri in the mid 90’s. Pokémon characters are fictional creatures, which are scattered across the Pokémon world. People called Pokémon trainers catch, train and battle them. It was first released as a manga (Japanese Comic) but it wasn’t until its anime (Japanese Cartoon) release that it’s popularity took a massive surge worldwide.
So what exactly is Pokémon Go?
Pokémon Go is a freemium augmented reality app, which makes a great attempt to blur the lines between virtual world and reality. With the use of a smartphone the user can travel across the real world using Pokeballs to catch and train Pokémon as they travel, find PokeStops to get a bunch of useful items to help them on their journey and finally, travel to Gyms where they can battle their Pokémon against other players.
Why it’s a great example of Marketing…
Pokémon Go is a perfect example of how building a strong and loyal following can do wonders for a brand in the long term.
When Pokémon first came out in the 1990’s it was extremely popular amongst the kids of that generation… Twenty years down the line and those kids are now adults, many (like most humans) have a strong sense of nostalgia and will flock to a brand that reminds them of their childhood. They, most likely, now have jobs and are also more likely to make in app purchases generating strong revenues for the brand.
Nintendo have barely done any paid promotion for Pokémon Go and the game has spread like wildfire since it’s release, mainly due to social media and word of mouth. Now if you check YouTube there are videos, which have generated hundreds of thousands of views, hundreds of Pokémon Go meme’s, parody videos, people sharing their avatars across social media and mass meetups within cities to try and catch rare Pokémon.
Pokémon Go has a really simple curve and literally within a matter of minutes you can learn the games core functions. This has likely contributed to the success of the game as the user doesn’t have to spend hours trying to figure out how to master the game.
Overall Pokémon Go is a great example of a brand tapping into its following and previously forgotten customer base to re-engage and ignite their passion for the brand.