We don’t know if the worldwide success of Pokémon Go will sustain to make all of the world into avid Pokémon hunters, but one thing is certain: it is truly the best use of augmented reality (AR) in a mobile game in a long long time.
Catching Pokémon has become a national pastime with reports of youngsters, who are usually found holed up in their rooms, getting outdoors to catch Pokémon, and delighting their mothers in the process.
For the uninitiated, Pokémon Go is the latest mobile game phenomenon that blends the real world with the virtual one, it shows you Pokémon in real time by tracking your geographical location and time, you flick a Pokeball at it and add it to your collection. There are 15L Pokémon and they could be anywhere: your office canteen, the local adda, a car park, malls, churches, temples, or hovering over right in your housing compound.
This video by the official YouTube channel best explains the why behind the global sensation:
The maker Nintendo is laughing its way to the bank with Pokémon Go’s sudden popularity having doubled Nintendo’s stock. Launched a few weeks back, the game’s an enhanced smartphone version of the video game Pokémon and has managed millions of downloads in a very short time, in fact, its daily active users have surpassed those of Twitter too!
A social and tech phenomenon like this is bound to create buzz and is also an opportune moment to bond with avid Pokémon hunters or even aspiring ones. Brands have already geared up with their marketing ideas to capitalize on the Pokémon sensation: McDonald’s has reportedly locked up a deal to turn over 3,000 Japanese locations into virtual gyms for Pokémon collectors, when the game launches in Japan today.
We stumbled upon a few brands here in India that leveraged the Pokémon mania to engage their fans, as well as weave in a smart brand connect.
Godrej Security Solutions
The maker of security solutions has found a cool brand connect to catch thugs. While the brand so wishes this to happen in real life, reports have already started pouring in as to how cops plan to use Pokémon Go to lure thieves.
— Godrej Security (@godrejsecure) July 16, 2016
The utterly butterly girl and her friends have also caught the Pokemania. A simple one from the Amul Topicals.
— Amul.coop (@Amul_Coop) July 19, 2016
The free classifieds site found the perfect visual to promote its QuikrDoorstep service.
— Quikr (@Quikr) July 13, 2016
The cab and auto hailing app invites you to go Pokémon hunting on one of its cabs, check out the destination selected. It wants you to catch’em all too.
— Ola (@Olacabs) July 13, 2016
There's enough for everyone! Catch 'em all on your app. pic.twitter.com/ZgqLW9YvwV
— Ola (@Olacabs) July 25, 2016
Red Bull India
The drink that gives you wings shared super effective ways to catch Pokémon in a massive post on its website under ‘Games’.
— Red Bull India (@inRedBull) July 12, 2016
The super adorable zoozoos are just as ‘psyducked’ as us when the Pokémon fever caught on!
When the world is going crazy about "Pokemon Go" and you don't have a clue! pic.twitter.com/zcsEY6OEYI
— Vodafone India (@VodafoneIN) July 12, 2016
Animal Planet India
The channel dedicated to bond us to the animal world, has brilliantly connected Pokemania with pet lovers.
There’s the carrier’s XL Data Pack for a nonstop Poke-hunting spree!
— Tata Docomo (@tatadocomo) July 14, 2016
The mattress maker got it right. Look there’s a Kurlemon on your bed!
— Kurlon Limited (@KurlonLimited) July 25, 2016
The popular dating app has gone all bonkers with Pokémon Go fever. Below visuals depict the brand’s fun side and its intent to engage its TG around the buzz in town.
— TrulyMadly (@thetrulymadly) July 14, 2016
— TrulyMadly (@thetrulymadly) July 15, 2016
This dating app is serious about what you do with your smartphone, so stop chasing imaginary creatures.
The only app to find, chat and meet fun people – Woo pic.twitter.com/9bJi6RyQkH
— Woo (@TheWooApp) July 26, 2016
Yes, parking lots are all that matter.
— Volkswagen India (@volkswagenindia) July 15, 2016
The cab hailing company makes a Pokemon pitch for its carpool services.
— Meru Cabs (@MeruCabs) July 14, 2016
The fashion etailer wants you to try the Myntra version of the game.
— Myntra (@myntra) July 14, 2016
Hercules MTB Turbodrive
If ever you go Pokémon hunting, make sure its on the Hercules MTB Turbodrive. The cycle maker has rolled out a series of gifs connecting to different types of Pokémon.
The restaurant search app always talks food. Zomato, always at your rescue when you go Pokémon hunting and can’t afford hunger pangs to stop you!
— Zomato (@Zomato) July 11, 2016
And I was wondering why no brand talked about having a dependable power bank to your rescue.
— IndiaMART (@IndiaMART) July 15, 2016
The quirky online designer brand for accessories, home decor and personal wear includes Pokemon hunting in its weekend guide.
— Chumbak (@Chumbak) July 15, 2016
The digital wallet smartly plays on catching ’em all in this GIF to promote itself as your one-stop bill payment solution!
No matter where you go, find and take down all your bills in just one tap with us! pic.twitter.com/Orw5DLLQQG
— FreeCharge (@FreeCharge) July 19, 2016
The nation’s favourite candy at the moment is happy if you catch’em all!
— Pulse (@PassPass_Pulse) July 21, 2016
Mad Over Donuts
The donut maker has played smart with its new Poke-berry donut. One can also win a box of them by catching the new donut in the gif.
Struggling to catch 'em all?
Why don't you take a break from the quest & replenish with a delicious Pokeberry donut! pic.twitter.com/PVrXW9QBVV
— Mad Over Donuts (@MadOverDonuts) August 4, 2016
— Mad Over Donuts (@MadOverDonuts) August 5, 2016
The online bazaar encourages you to take the Pokemon route!
— ShopClues.com (@ShopClues) July 25, 2016
While trainers look hopefully for a Pokestop, the budget hotel chain claims there’s an OYO room everywhere.
— OYO (@oyorooms) August 1, 2016
Have you seen the Mentosaur yet?!
Here's the rarest of them all. Do you think you have it in you to outsmart and catch him ? Share proof! pic.twitter.com/bIKxYyT4ZT
— Mentos India (@IndiaMentos) July 27, 2016
The King of Good times wants you to catch the ‘good times’!
— Kingfisher (@kingfisherworld) July 21, 2016
MTV’s meme machine is at it again.
— MTV India (@MTVIndia) July 25, 2016
The snack with the mad angle invites you to catch all its flavours.
— Bingo! (@BingoSnacks) July 19, 2016
Samsung Mobile India
Samsung wants you to go Pokemon hunting with Galaxy 7 Edge. Hmm.
RT if you prefer Pikachu.
Like if you prefer Charizard.
— Samsung Mobile India (@SamsungMobileIN) July 20, 2016
The maker of home and car fragrances makes an interesting Pokemon pitch for its online shopping link.
— Godrej aer (@godrejaer) August 2, 2016
The Viral Fever
The online entertainment destination for most millennials today shows you how Indians catch Pokémon.
— The Viral Fever (@TheViralFever) July 14, 2016
All India Bakchod
The comedy collective owns the day with its array of hilarious desi Pokemania visuals.
Pokemon Go lovers will surely understand the feeling. pic.twitter.com/u5IeMxWf0w
— All India Bakchod (@AllIndiaBakchod) July 14, 2016
Indians Playing Pokemon Since Forever pic.twitter.com/WzGCU2mhvo
— All India Bakchod (@AllIndiaBakchod) July 13, 2016
Tata Coffee Grande
I thought the coffee brand would bring its uber cool granny to catch Pikachu, but this is good nevertheless. Perhaps granny is not doing well.
— Tata Coffee Grand (@tatacoffeegrand) August 4, 2016
Pokémon Go has given us a glimpse of the future of augmented reality, where real-time location-based marketing finally comes of age. Maybe a little lesser extent to how tech innovations are leveraged in other countries, but India, too, holds a goldmine of potential in engaging, rewarding and marketing to its youth demographic in real-time. Until then, let’s catch’em all!