If you have watched television, scrolled through twitter or spoken to anyone in the past week, it is likely you have been witness to the latest craze that is Pokémon GO.
It is an augmented reality mobile phone game that gives people the ability to walk around the streets catching Pokémon and it has been ridiculously successful. Since its launch just over a week ago, more than 5% of all android users have downloaded the app with over 60% of those people using the app at least once per day. At this rate, the game has become more popular than twitter, instagram, whatsapp and messenger.
The Pokémon GO app has seen some businesses spark creativity and use the app to their advantage. Many small businesses have advertised Pokémon characters as being inside their shop or restaurant as a way of attaining customers; and with the crowds seen gathering together to catch the Pokémon, one would assume this ploy would be a success. Other larger businesses like Woolworths have used social media to connect with consumers in a humourous way and have seen some great responses and exposure. In Sydney, the game sparked fear for Police who were worried about a huge crowd that was forming in the city. However, the crowd of over 4000 people were nothing but peaceful and friendly with no other intention than exercising their Pokémon characters together.
The augmented reality game is not the first of it’s kind, however it could already be seen to be the most successful. Many companies have attempted a virtual reality type app but have not seen anywhere near the success or publicity that Pokémon GO has gained. But could this app have given us a glimpse into the future of marketing through virtual reality?
One of the obvious aspects of this is the value of customer experience that can be utilised. The technology that is readily available to marketers today is unquestionably underutilised and the creative opportunities are infinite. Augmented reality gives consumers the opportunity to experience a situation or reality that you have specifically created for them. Companies including McDonald’s and L’oreal Paris have experimented with the technology already with McDonald’s receiving awards for the concept and L’oreal seeing success among it’s users. There remains huge opportunity for businesses to be creative and differentiate themselves through the use of augmented realities.
Augmented realities may not be something every business can benefit from. For businesses with a big visual focus, it could be very effective. For businesses with a large millennial audience, the chances of success are probably greater. One of the main points identified with Pokémon GO is that majority of all users are millennial’s, who as marketers are well aware, are often the most difficult demographic to market to. An app or game in which the consumer benefits from the virtual reality marketing is a campaign that could prove to be successful. To achieve success, the experience should make for an easier purchase process or deliver something to the consumer they could not have received otherwise.
It gives marketers the opportunity to interact with consumers in a more personalised and exciting situation than they have before. It is an innovative concept that many companies are yet to utilise, however if Pokémon GO is anything to go by, there are big things to be expected.
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