Fuse Fridays: A Peek(achu) at the week that’s been Pokémon Go

If you’ve been being a Shuckle and hiding in your shell, a Snorlax in a slumber or stuck in Jiggly Puff’s trance and ignoring the internet… you better take a peek(achu) at the global sensation that is Pokémon go – ONLY THE BEST GAME EVER. I’m not going to lie, I’m a little bit of a fan of the game and I too have been hitting up the streets with the dream of CATCHING THEM ALL.

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In the week since the app has launched, Pokémon Go has secured its place as the highest grossing app in Australia and the US, has added a couple of cheeky billions (9 to be precise!) to the value of Nintendo, has surpassed Tinder in installs, has overtaken Twitter in daily Android users, seen more engagement than Facebook and is arguably the biggest player in Augmented Reality since Google Maps. So you know… just a couple of achievements.

Now Pokémon Go hasn’t been the first Augmented Reality game to hit Australia, but it’s the first that has to succumb to both widespread and massive mainstream interest.  Brands have tested the water with AR, however they haven’t followed through with long-term adoption. Earlier this year, L’Oreal Paris launched an app that used facial recognition technology to allow customers to virtually apply their products. McDonald’s also had a campaign that showed the production process of its food. Pacific Magazines was one of the first publishers to jump on the bandwagon, experimenting with AR for its April cover of kid’s title K-Zone.  Nintendo has really pushed the boundaries and committed to the technology which has been incremental to its success. Not to mention that it’s a throwback to one of the biggest crazes in the 90s making for some epic digital content.

Let’s take a look at the crazy week that’s been Pokémon Go and some of the badass content that has been created by brands off of the back of what is named to be one of the biggest revivals in history.

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You will have also noticed that the app itself has been the topic of social conversation and content online. This week it’s hard to scroll through your Facebook feed without seeing a Squirtle ready for capture or Pokémon Go related memes (see 29 Relationships Already Ruined By Pokémon Go and 8 ‘Pokémon Go’ tricks that’ll help you become a Pokémon Master ). It has also been part of the news cycle with various safety risks, loitering, Google account concerns, and even deaths.

This viral movement and shareable content has provided a huge opportunity for brands to jump on the bandwagon and is a unique opening to interact creatively with gamers. It’s important to note that the most successful content has been that which is true to the brand and remains relevant to them. Not those who joined in for the sake of it. Below are a couple of the best (in my opinion) brand social posts within Australia.

TAB posted a hilarious image of Australian footballer Chris Scott during the Geelong vs Sydney Swans game on the Weekend.

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For brands wanting to be directly involved with the App, Niantic Labs, the developer behind the augmented reality game have hinted at a potential opportunity for brands to integrate within the game as a way to monetize the app and make it a platform for marketing. PokéStops and gyms for battling other players are largely located at notable landmarks like parks and statues, but could potentially expand to encompass retailer-sponsored locations. In another App produced by Niantic Labs, advertisers who purchased portals paid on a “cost per visit” basis, and this is similar to how it could be used throughout Pokémon Go.

We’ll definitely be seeing more opportunities for integration in the future so keep an eye out (You gotta catch em all!).

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