Pokémon Go: The Giving Tree of Marketing Opportunities

Djs Pokemon Post
July 28, 2016

Pokémon Go is doing weird things to me. I’m walking around town for hours with my friends to catch imaginary monsters on the weekend. I’m purposefully taking longer routes back home from work to pass as many PokéStops as I can. I’m burning through my cell phone data in record time. The other day I even missed the bus because I was running around to locate an Aerodactyl (!) that popped up several blocks from the bus stop. (But alas, he was nowhere to be found. #1like1prayer) 

But clearly I’m not the only one going insane. Numbers show it all: the augmented reality game was installed on more than 5% of all Android devices in the U.S., surpassing Tinder’s download numbers only two days after the release. Within the first couple of weeks, Nintendo doubled in value since the release of Pokémon Go (although Nintendo’s share plummeted after investors found out that Pokémon Go will only have “a limited effect” on the company’s profits).

Seeing the app’s enormous popularity and reach around the globe, businesses are jumping on the Pokémon bandwagon to come up with effective digital marketing campaigns to capitalize on this latest trend.

Here are four brilliant Pokémon Go-related marketing campaigns that seized the perfect marketing opportunity at the right time with the right product.


1) T-Mobile’s Free Pokémon Go Data

If you’re tragically confined to limited monthly cell phone data like me, Pokémon Go will be the bane of your existence. Even Congress wrote a passive-aggressive letter to the game developer Niantic raising concerns about the game’s data usage.

Well, T-Mobile saw the data-hogging nature of the app and decided to reward its customers with unlimited data for running the Pokémon Go app. By downloading the “T-Mobile Tuesdays” app, Pokémon trainers can be the very best without having to worry about data usage until August 2017.

It seems like T-Mobile is fully committing to this Pokémon madness — through its T-Mobile Tuesdays app, the cell phone carrier will continue its handouts of Pokémon-related freebies including free Lyft rides up to $15 to PokéStops or Gyms.


2) Yelp’s PokéStop Filter

What if you want to dine at a restaurant downtown but you’re too busy trying to catch ‘em all? Yelp has an answer to your dilemma with its new “Filter by PokéStop” feature.

If you’re unfamiliar with the game (who am I kidding, of course you are), PokéStops are designated real-life locations in the game’s map where players can visit and collect usable items. In addition, players can set up “Lure Modules” at PokéStops to attract Pokémons to that area for half an hour.

With Yelp’s new filter that shows you which nearby eateries are PokéStops, you can now dig into a steamy bowl of ramen or chug a pint of cold beer while collecting pokéballs and luring Pokémons.

This is probably just the beginning of Pokémon Go’s relationship with restaurant-related services — Niantic already announced they will soon start offering businesses an option to sponsor their location to become PokéStops on a cost-per-visit basis.


3) Ridesharing Services

Big companies aren’t the only ones taking advantage of the Pokémon craze. Clever ridesharing entrepreneurs are offering to chauffeur Pokémon trainers who want to go great distances to complete their Pokédex.

You know the human race has come too far once you see a Craiglist ad offering to drive you around the city to catch imaginary monsters along a route that passes as many imaginary checkpoints and imaginary gyms as possible. Well, it’s only $30 per person with free Wi-Fi and phone chargers included!

Many gamers are also reportedly using popular ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft to drive around safely while looking for rare Pokémons.

Will Uber and Lyft try to cash in on this opportunity? Only time will tell.

But in the meanwhile, remember: don’t Pokémon and drive!


4) Charity Miles’ Pokémon Go Challenge

Not everything related to Pokémon Go is about hungry businesses trying to empty out your wallets. In fact, a charity app is seeing the potential humanitarian benefit of the extensive distances players have to walk in order to play the game. 

Charity Miles, a mobile fundraising app that raises money for numerous charity organizations by tracking the distance its users walk, launched the “Charity Miles Pokémon Go Challenge,” urging Pokémon trainers to log their miles into the app while running around looking for Magikarps.

You have to walk miles and miles to hatch those eggs anyway, so why not help an awesome cause with zero extra effort? With Charity Miles, you can screenshot your latest Pokémon exploit and share it on social media to raise awareness about charities including Alzheimer’s Association and Autism Speaks.


So here it is again: the question of timeliness and topicality

Like I mentioned in my last blog about brilliant marketing campaigns that spoke to the right audience at the right time with the right product, timing is everything in today’s digital marketing efforts.

The Pokémon fever doesn’t seem to be cooling down anytime soon. With more in-game updates scheduled for the foreseeable future and more countries around the world joining the virtual world of Pokémon Go, the possibilities are limitless when it comes to creative marketing opportunities.

Now where do I find that Aerodactyl… 



Still hungry for more tech news? Check out our blogs about the four most-funded Kickstarter campaigns and five best podcasts every tech lovers should listen to!

Do you know any other Pokémon Go-related marketing campaigns we didn’t list? Tweet us at @Perfect_Search!

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