It’s all the rage. Kids do it, teenagers do it, even educated parents do it. Drawn into the now not-so-new phenomenon that is Pokémon GO, launched earlier this month.
Pokémon GO is an augmented reality geo-tagging game for smartphones. Taking the role of a ‘trainer’ and catching Pokémon that appear in the ‘real-world’, the GPS on phones place a map on screen and different species pop up nearby. Once the player has travelled to the area a Pokémon is hiding out, they simply tap on the creature on the map and the camera on your phone renders it into the environment. So they might find a Drowzee bumbling around their local train station, or an Oddish while walking the dogs. Neat.
The Pokémon is then caught by taking aim and throwing a Pokéball at it. Some species are more difficult to capture than others, as they bounce around the sofa/oven/supermarket shelf, and the player has a finite number of Pokéballs to use.
And there’s more – with enough experience as a trainer, the player can then go to a nearby Pokémon Gym (indicated as a coloured tower on the map) to battle and power up their Pokémon.
Why are brands interested?
Brands are jumping on the bandwagon to get a piece of the action, experimenting with Pokémon GO as a marketing tool, primarily to drive footfall to physical stores.
Anyone who entered a But store, captured a Pokémon and took a photo to prove it received a 10% discount at minimum. The first two to post a picture on Twitter under #butattrapeztous (‘But catch them all’) won the vouchers.
The idea had been pitched to But on 18 July and the competition kicked off on 20 July and finished on 23 July.
Although Pokémon Go wasn’t officially released in France until 22 July – midway through the campaign – the agency and But wanted to capitalise on the base of players who had downloaded the game unofficially.
But how much overlap is there between But’s audience and Pokémon Go players, who roughly span from pre-teens to parents?
The ageing French brand is, according to co-creative director of digital Stephan Schwarz, trying broaden its appeal to the type of consumer who might normally shop at competitor Ikea.
“But historically speaks to an older audience,” he told Campaign. “One of the missions we have at Change is to make it more relevant to a younger audience.”
So I guess the proof will be in the tills – if placing Pokémon in locations is driving increased footfall of a younger audience, will this translate to increased spend whilst they are in the shop, restaurant or leisure park, will this put off the traditional audience from visiting, and do we really have anything to worry about?
After all, it will soon be so last month, a new craze could swiftly replace it, and it could be Pokémon GOne.
Read more at http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/french-furniture-brand-activated-pokemon-go-across-200-stores/1403552#rCJdsbX7jy7XBoxd.99