Pokémon Go is now the biggest mobile game in North American history. The app has over 75 million downloads and counting. Apple reported that Pokémon Go has generated more downloads in the App Store during its first week than any other app. There is no doubt that advertisers want to jump all over this viral app but what does Pokémon Go’s future look like for advertisers?
Retailers and other businesses will soon have the opportunity to place advertisements in the app as a sponsored location. Retailers can become sponsors of the app in order to attract customers and get them in their stores. PokéStops, which players visit to collect PokéBalls, Potions, Razz Berries, etc. will be available for sponsorship. Advertisers can pay for their store or business to become a sponsored location in the game in order to increase their in-store traffic. Some retailers have offered up free Wi-Fi and phone charging stations for Pokémon Go players.
McDonald’s was the first advertiser on the Pokémon Go app in Japan, making 3,000 locations become Pokémon Gyms in the game. Users of the app visit these specific McDonald’s locations to make headway in the game as a gym champion. It is reported that McDonald’s has seen an increase in sales after becoming the first advertiser to have sponsored locations on the app. Furthermore, retailers aren’t the only ones getting creative with Pokémon Go.
Travel Alberta hosted a Pokémon Go bus tour that explored Calgary, and tickets sold out in nearly 20 minutes. The tour allowed Pokémon Go players to sight see Calgary while travelling with other Pokémon Go trainers capturing Pokémon. The app has opened up a new advertising landscape not only for retailers, but for all sorts of businesses.
What makes the app game so appealing?
Some say that the augmented reality that Pokémon Go has created is its greatest success. The game provides players with a real-world experience through the lens of a smartphone. It’s allowing users to make that connection between the virtual world and the real world. This virtual re-creation of the real world is providing consumers with an experience unlike any other, one that fully engages the user into the experience. Surely advertisers are drawn to this app because of the opportunity for engagement. With everyone always plugged into their smartphones, what’s better than having consumers follow the medium right into your stores?
I am excited to see what the game will look like in 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year from now. With the integration of user locations, gaming, and advertising, Pokémon Go has created a unique landscape for advertisers and I am eager to see what’s next on the table. With all of the location data Niantic will have access to, it is without a doubt that they will find other ways to capitalize on the viral app.
Key Account Digital Buyer, Active International