Pokemon Go hasn’t landed in the UK yet, but when it does there’s little doubt in my mind that we’ll see the same phenomenon as other countries: people tripping over each other, stumbling across roads and scrambling to catch different Pokemon in Augmented Reality.
However for retailers, it could lead to another kind of phenomenon: incredible new footfall and customer capture.
It’s already been semi-confirmed in a Financial Times Article that this ingenious game will generate absurd amounts of revenue through sponsored places:
Alongside in-app payments, “there is a second component to our business model at Niantic, which is this concept of sponsored locations”, Mr Hanke said, where companies “pay us to be locations within the virtual game board — the premise being that it is an inducement that drives foot traffic”.
I find it mindblowingly incredible (I am in awe) that one of the most potentially lucrative marketing opportunities for brick and mortar retailers will be to have an augmented reality cartoon character tucked under their best selling products, with the hope that hordes of potential customers traipse into their shop to snag a Pokemon.
Certainly they won’t be the most relevantly engaged customer base, but given the furious passion and commitment people have already shown for the game, it’s worth a shot, right?
I’m by no means an expert on Pokemon, but it is surely only a matter of time before the 729 Pokemon characters are joined by “Tescomoth”, “Poundlandpoke” and “M&SWhirl” (this isn’t just any Pokemon character…)