Pok©mon GO: How brands are getting involved | DMA

Filter By

Show All

Connect to


Pok©mon GO: How brands are getting involved


What’s it all about?

Pokémon GO is a free-to-play location-based augmented reality game for mobile devices that challenges players to catch Pokémon characters in the real world. Developed by Niantic and released just a week ago in the UK, it’s already hauling in an estimated £1.2 million a day from in-app purchases on iOS devices alone. Average daily use of the app has already exceeded many of the top social networks (Tinder, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) and Nintendo stocks doubled just a week after release (it has a 33% interest in the Pokémon franchise).

What are the current opportunities?

Local retailers are already cashing in on the real world element by offering specials deals and discounts for app users. For example, an independent game shop in Derbyshire allows intrepid trainers to charge their phones for 10 minutes if they buy a drink – the game is known to kill your battery – and Dudley Zoo is reducing entry prices on specific days to allow visitors to catch the Pokémon lurking inside its boundaries.

Even if you aren’t offering deals to app users, you can still jump on the bandwagon. Larger brands like Zizzi and Pizza Express have been joining in the conversation on Twitter this week by posting game content that appeals to their Pokémon-mad audience.

Online businesses, bereft of any actual Pokémon characters to catch, are choosing to run competitions to win hordes of in-game currency, PokéCoins, which is usually only available when parting with real-world cash. Others are simply creating an association with existing products such as clothing, stickers, smartphone battery packs and charging cases – did I mention that this game is a huge battery drain?

small retailers are making good use of pokemon go in their marketing

What’s next?

It’s just been announced that McDonalds will be the first official partner of the game and will sponsor game locations to coincide with the Japanese launch of the game, so that’ll be one to watch.

This is no flash in the pan for the franchise, and I’m sure there’s plenty more to come for brands. We could soon see special Pokémon to be caught at specific locations, in-game items given away in exchange for in-store purchases, and perhaps even banner ads across a free version, all of which would be great news for brands looking to drive footfall – until the nation catches ‘em all, of course…

Hear more from the DMA

Please login to comment.