3 Key Learnings For Brand Marketers From The On-Going ‘Pokemon Go’ Frenzy

Industry Watch | July 14, 2016 | Feature

A mobile game app is launched on July 6 in a few select countries. Within 2 days of its launch it is reported that the application had already been installed in over 5% android phones in the U.S. In its launch week itself the game crosses WhatsApp in usage time, Tinder in app downloads, and it is trending to pass Twitter in daily active users. Even before its global launch, the game has created such a storm that it is being downloaded across the world illegally yet its consumers are unabashedly and consistently talking, writing and sharing about it. Such is the frenzy that Pokémon Go, an augmented reality mobile app by Nintendo has created in such a short amount of time. 

There is a lot to learn from the incredible success story of Pokemon Go, more importantly so because the game has added $7.5 billion to Nintendo's overall market value in just 8 days, an astonishing feat which has never been achieved before. In this exclusive feature, we at EVENTFAQS list down 3 Learnings for brand marketers from the on-going ‘Pokemon Go’ frenzy.

1- Fantasy is a big seller

If there is one sure shot take away from the success story of Pokemon Go, it is the fact that fantasy is a big seller when it comes to people. The entire universe of Pokemon and everything it represents is built on it. Kids and Teenagers who grew up in the 90’s aspired to be a Pokemon trainer and through the game and the technology of augmented reality, they are able to live their long forgotten fantasy in the most engaging way ever. India as a country perfectly fits into the picture as the millennials who are the key decision makers of modern India have been brought up around a time where fantasy stories of Aladdin, Vikram Betal, Vintage Video Games and others ruled the day. Given a chance who wouldn’t want to be a Mario to save their princess from a castle for real? If anything, Pokemon Go has paved the way for more brands to stir up other fantasy stories to curate newer experiences.

2- Best Marketing Tool is Experience and The Best Way to Sell it is Word-of-Mouth

Nintendo, the custodians of the Pokemon Go did not spend huge amount of money to market the game on any media platforms. The game is a raging sensation today only because of the fact that it brings together the two most important marketing tools together- one being the element of experiential marketing and the other being word-of-mouth publicity. The point is a testament to the fact that hard sell of a particular brand will not help it and neither will huge investment in its marketing. The key to a successful brand is creating a worth talking about experience for your TG; the story behind your product should be compelling enough and the brand will sell on its own.

3- Blurring the gap between Real and Virtual through apt use of technology

Just think about it; would Pokemon Go still be so huge if instead of using augmented reality the game used normal gaming interface? The answer is 'No' because the audience of today is on the lookout for newer things and newer experiences, something that can only be created if the technology in front of us is aptly leveraged on. The cartoon Pokemon is still aired but it’s viewership is not so high, the game however caught on like a wildfire as it gave the audiences a chance to become a part of the game itself by blurring the gap between real and virtual. Brands and agencies may ignore it as much as they want but they certainly cannot deny the fact that technologies like Augmented and Virtual Reality are here to stay. 

In the end, it is safe to say that the launch of Pokemon Go has indeed been a game changer in the lives of people, brands, mobile technologies and gaming applications. However, we would like to believe that this is just the beginning of the marketing revolution looming ahead of us. Till then it will be rather interesting to see what will the competing brands in gaming apps space come up with to top this experience. 


There is a lot to learn from the incredible success story of Pokemon Go, more importantly so because the game has added $7.5 billion to Nintendo's overall market value in just 8 days.

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