Would you like a Charmander with that?

Luigi Raw
By Luigi RawSenior Data Engineer
5 minutes to read

I am not going to lie, I have been swept away by the madness of Pokémon Go and I can only assume that a number of you reading this have probably just jumped out of the app or at least itching to jump back in. For me, I see the opportunities in these things. Especially where a single app has more active daily users than Facebook, Twitter and for the daters of you out there, Tinder.


Look at Flappy Bird for example, which hit our devices in May 2013 and became and overnight sensation, eventually making the Vietnamese creator over £40,000 a day in advertising revenue. We also have Angry Birds which in 2012 saw around £50 million profit for the year and now has a massive franchise. Advertising is everywhere and mobile app creators are more than aware of this.

So it comes as no surprise that marketing opportunities are being discussed, finalised and even already exist within the code of Pokémon Go.  A group of users on Reddit have already identified hidden code within the app that indicates potential sponsorship deals with McDonalds, the hamburger franchise.

These ‘sponsorships’ will see companies being able to open a Gym, which is a physical location where Pokémon Go users can battle for ownership. Winning these battles have perks, one of which is the bragging rights of being a Gym Leader. As well as being able to offer rare Pokémon to its customers so they can drive more footfall and hopefully more custom. So who can benefit from this? Well you have;

  • Niantic who created the app itself and gain a percentage of revenue generated through the app.
  • Nintendo/The Pokémon Company who own the franchise rights and have already seen a 60% share increase since the games release.
  • The app store owners (Apple & Google) from any in-app purchases.
  • The sponsors who have the potential for extra custom while users are catching Pokémon or battling for supremacy.
  • The end user who will get themselves new and interesting Pokémon.

There are a number of marketing opportunities available including branding, sponsorship, takeovers, and even virtual billboards using the Augmented Reality feature where a virtual environment is created using the real world as a backdrop. I am sure that these are going to come thick and fast and I am sure that Niantic and Nintendo are going to take this opportunity to ‘Catch Them All!’.

Even though the future is clear, companies have been taking advantage of the growth of this game already by activating Lures in their area which aim to drive custom in the direction of the business. A lure is a feature added to a PokéStop (a physical location that allows users to gain small incentives for activiating) that attracts Pokémon at a higher rate than normal. Users in close proximity to this can catch these spawned Pokémon.This is already proving successful and is cost effective, costing a company around 70 pence for a 30 minute activation.

Although I would not like to say that one app could be responsible for changing mobile marketing, it is clear that the guys at Nintendo are on to a winner here and here at Enjoy Digital, we will be watching this closely.

An analysts' post would not be complete without some stats:

  • Over 30 million app downloads since the apps launch (10m in the first week)
  • Over 21 million active daily users
  • Higher interaction than most mobile apps with an average of 34 minutes.





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Articles by Luigi Raw

Biography coming soon!