If the success of Pokémon GO is anything to go by, yes it is! This free game has taken the world quite literally by storm, using the power of AR (Augmented Reality) to unite virtual activity with reality. In real terms, this equates to 75 million people worldwide appearing on the high street, in parks, at tourist attractions and quite possibly outside a business like yours. So the next question is…

How can a business make money from augmented reality?

It all comes back to advertising – but this time advertising in a virtual space that is connected to a real location. In fact, a McDonalds in Japan became the first brand name to capitalise on this new union, signing a sponsorship deal that transformed their real life restaurants into PokéStop and Pokémon ‘gym’ sites.

There is also an opportunity for businesses to boost profits by capitalising on increased footfall nearby, without having to sign a deal with developers. One report tells of a pub offering “half price drinks while the servers were down at a Pokegym opposite”. Source

Pokémon GO Explained

Pokewhat? In the event that you are not au fait with the latest chapter in AR gaming, here is a quick roundup of the Pokemon GO craze…

  • Pokémon GO is a free-to-play, location-based augmented reality game developed by Niantic for mobile devices.
  • The app has been downloaded 75 MILLION times and the game currently has 20 million active users.
  • It uses GPS to track your location, taking players to real locations where they can capture the virtual pocket monsters.
  • Many businesses found that their premises were Pokémon hotspots, but not all companies embraced the attention, let alone the marketing opportunities.
  • There is a Lure Module feature in the game, which could be used by businesses to attract Pokémon (and therefore customers) to their premises. You have to be quick – it only lasts 30 minutes!

Pokémon GO is not only a success as a game, but also as a marketing tool, for one simple fact – it puts the fun first, and the sales opportunity for advertisers second. We will watch this space with baited breath to see how the relationships between game developers, corporate sponsors, and even independent high street traders blossoms to benefit Jo Public and influence how he or she parts with their hard earned cash.