What Pokemon GO Means for Experiential Marketing

What Pokemon GO Means for Experiential Marketing

Posted by: Alycia Rovner on July 14, 2016
Unless you've been unplugged or stuck on Mars this past week, chances are you've heard of the new Pokemon GO app. Gamers -- and regular people -- are absolutely crazed over this new, groundbreaking digital trend.
 
Pokemon is a Nintendo game that launched in 1996. Its purpose was to travel the world (through your TV screen) to catch a variety of monsters called Pokemon -- and use these creatures to fight one another. The gamer's goal was to "catch 'em all".
 
What's Pokemon GO? It's a free, augmented reality (AR) app that combines real-world features into the game. Pokemon GO uses A device's GPS and clock to determine which Pokemon appear in the game. If a player is by the ocean, water types of Pokemon appear there and if a player is by a park, grass types appear. What's the catch? Pokemon won't just come to a gamer's location, but instead gamers have to travel through the real world to "catch 'em all". It's essentially the same game as the 1996 version except that today the Pokemon have jumped through your screen and landed in your shower. Welcome to 2016. 
 
Augmented reality is defined as a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics, or GPS data. It's not a new concept nor is Pokemon GO the first game to utilize this approach. But AR has never caught on with mainstream consumers until now. The Pokemon GO app is free, brand new, fun, and taps into the nostalgic brains of nearly every Millennial (myself included). It's currently bigger than Tinder and on its way to surpassing Twitter's "daily active users" metrics.
 
What is this telling us? AR is the perfect tactic for executing an experiential marketing campaign. It combines two of experiential marketers' favorite elements, digital and face-to-face, together to create an interactive, unique experience. We expect big brands to invest more in this concept now that Pokemon GO has set the trend. Expect beer companies to sponsor an interactive bar crawl and car companies to promote a scavenger hunt-filled road trip. AR is bringing consumers to brands and its possibilities are endless.
 
So take notice to the phenomenon that's happening this week. As consumers spend their sleepless nights tracking down digital monsters, marketers are observing a new way to catch consumers. And they might just "catch 'em all". 

On The Avenue Marketing creates face-to-face engagements that deliver real results. Need assistance with your next experiential marketing campaign? Contact us today for a free consultation. We'd love to chat!
 
Alycia is a marketing strategist who has been connecting people to products through events for more than a decade. As Vice President, Marketing of OTA, she draws on her experience to create customized event marketing programs for her clients. She's developed a deep understanding of how to create authentic, engaging promotions that organically attract consumers to brands. In her free time, this Boston native enjoys creating craft cocktails, soaking up the summer sun, and obsessing over her 4 lb. Chihuahua, Taco.