What Pokemon Go Tells Marketers about Augmented Reality

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Unless you are living in a secluded area and technology hasn’t reached you yet, you most probably have heard about Pokemon Go by now. This game has taken the world by storm in these last couple of months. In fact, as the modern ones would have it, the world is divided into two – those who mainly use their smartphones to chase virtual creatures everywhere or those who just watch bemusedly. For Pokemon Go, it’s either you get it or you don’t.
But whether you enjoy the game or not, there’s one thing that you have to accept about Pokemon Go and that is its statistics. Did you know that it just took 13 hours for this amazing game to climb to the top of the highest-grossing app chart in the United States? Nintendo’s market value has gained an astounding $9 billion just five days after its launch. In a week the app has a record of over 15 million downloads. This mobile game has acquired no less than 100 million global users in six days. Candy Crush was the last one to reach that level but it took the latter 15 months to do so.
What is Its Marketing Potential?
Pokemon Go uses Google maps to mix its virtual universe with our very real world. Pokestops provide important in-game items and are positioned at local businesses and landmarks. Some owners of these local businesses have bought the in-game item called Lure which attracts Pokemon for half an hour for about 2.3 Canadian Dollars per hour.  The hope of course, is to bring customers to their doors.
Almost two-thirds of Pokemon trainers (as the players of this game are called) are millennials with ages ranging between18-24. Smart brands would embrace this exceptional opportunity to this particular market that is known to reject direct advertising.
While display advertising has always struggled when integrated with mobile gaming as everyone views it as disruptive to the experience, Pokemon Go seems not only to defy this but to solve this negative perception altogether.
Google is actually a major shareholder in Niantic which is a spinout form its very own Google Maps so Pokemon Go will have its advertising model. This can scale revenues fast. But brands should not bank too much on Pokemon Go as their advertising platform as the game could lose authenticity if it focuses much on ad dollars.
Marketers believe that this game’s success will stop a lot of brands from building their own Augmented Reality experiences and opt to partner with games that have already established themselves – especially those with massive audiences. Brands would be integrated in a more natural manner like sponsoring tournaments and offering bonus levels.
Truly, as apps like Snapchat and now Pokemon Go gain success, our continued investment in advanced technologies like augmented reality for engagement and customer entertainment is firmly validated.

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