Brands Should Think Twice Before Hopping On The Pokemon GO Bandwagon

Brands Should Think Twice Before Hopping On The Pokemon GO Bandwagon
SHARE
THIS



Augmented reality game Pokemon GO has taken Australia by force, sucking up attention as users try to find the wily little figures around the place. However, if too many brands get involved or integrate in an obtrusive way, it damages their own brand as well as the Pokemon Go brand.

There’s no denying we’re well and truly in the next trend, even though it’s only been around for a few weeks, with millions playing the game. One creative even admitted he walked seven kilometres to work, through a golf course, just so he could pick up six. In case you don’t know, the game requires users to walk around and collect Pokemon. Users download the app onto their phone, and the app uses GPS and the clock to determine where and when you are, and then makes Pokemon virtually appear around you. Not physically, as this poor lass seemed to think. Check out this less-than-400 word article on the game if you’re still not sure.

pokemon go

Many brands have figured out ways to get involved, however Andy Flemming, newly appointed group creative director for ad agency M&C Saatchi, said the minute the app becomes too brandy, it will break the Pokemon GO game.

“It’s difficult for brands to immerse themselves seamlessly into the game,” he told B&T. And if too many brands try to integrate themselves – he gave examples of the big FMCG brands tapping into the geolocation aspect of the app – it will be “the straw that broke the camel’s back”. They’re not just damaging their own brand, they’re damaging the Pokemon GO brand too.

Echoing that, Irina Hayward, head of digital and CRM strategy at creative agency BMF, said they need to be careful as users will call bullshit on anything that smells inauthentic.

“Oversees brands such as Walmart already use Pokemon GO characters to lure customers in store, using social to drive players to their locations,” she said. “And we’re not falling behind, with many local brands jumping on the social-gaming bandwagon.

“But brands do need to think twice before joining the hype, particularly as gamers’ expectations are high and the brand competition to gain assimilation is even higher. They’ll sniff out opportunistic brands there for the ride without offering real value above and beyond.”

That’s not to say it’s not an opportunity for brands, provided they’re not shoving themselves in people’s faces.

“The last thing people want is a mobile banner blocking the gameplay,” said Jon Skinner, creative partner at The Core Agency. “This would do brands more harm than good.” It’s brand integration that is the key here, he added, such as Nike including its runners or a branded backpack. But again, it needs to be authentic.

“The geolocation function of the game also throws up opportunities for retailers like Doughnut Time or McDonald’s with real world stores,” he added.

The game has also been doing wonders for getting people out and about and walking around and has shown it’s helping people with depression and other mental illnesses.

Still, BMF’s Hayward cautioned users on the data they’re giving away.

“There’s been talk of Pokemon GO and Niantic Labs using telemetry, gaming data, to gain access to player’s information across their account if they’ve logged in via their Google Account,” she said.

“And whilst most users are happy to play Pokemon and collect these creatures, little do they know that their geo-location data is also being tapped in the background.

“What this may mean is Niantic Labs [makers of the game] is in a strong position to negotiate with big brands, encouraging gamers to visit their stores by placing creatures at the right local stores to further monetise beyond the $14.04 million that has already been generated. This is where true on/offline monetisation can happen.

“And this doesn’t mean that all interaction is left to mobile devices.”

But do brands need to think about this in a long strategy sense? “My gut feel is a no on this one,” said Nicola Swankie, head of innovation at content marketing agency Red Engine.

“Like with any new tech craze it is always hard to predict what will stick and what will not, but unless we see integration with social networks or continued innovation the hunch is that this particular one will lose its novelty quite quickly.”

Lead image via Nintendo from The Verge. Other images via Ruth Arimado from Travel Weekly.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Why The “No” Campaign Is Just One Long Slippery Slope
  • Opinion

Why The “No” Campaign Is Just One Long Slippery Slope

Not exactly your typical marketing/media piece, but here playwright Ron Elisha (pictured below) explains the damage done by the “No” campaign and the now infamous skywriting on a recent blue-sky Sydney Sunday… My daughter is crying. It’s not that she’s fallen over and barked her knee. Nor is it the trauma of immunization, or the […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
QMS Goes West With ‘The Leeder’
  • Advertising
  • Media

QMS Goes West With ‘The Leeder’

QMS Media continues to expand its digital portfolio across Western Australia, switching on an iconic billboard in the heart of Perth. Following the launch of two new digital billboards in the major WA regional centres of Bunbury and Kalgoorlie in recent months, ‘The Leeder’ further delivers on QMS’ digital expansion strategy out west. Positioned at […]

PR Firm Text100 Wins NetApp Account For APAC
  • Marketing

PR Firm Text100 Wins NetApp Account For APAC

Global marketing communications agency Text100 has announced it been appointed by data management company NetApp to drive its brand transformation effort across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. Following local competitive pitches conducted across the region, Text100 has been appointed as the APAC lead agency out of Singapore, and as the local agency of record in Australia, […]

MFA Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

MFA Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!

B&T once again donned the tux, applied the Brut, and primed the liver for last night's MFA Awards in Sydney.

Concrete Playground Launches Voice-activated Nightlife Guide With Google Assistant
  • Media
  • Technology

Concrete Playground Launches Voice-activated Nightlife Guide With Google Assistant

Digital publisher Concrete Playground has unveiled a new app that helps Millennials plan their night out using voice control – the first of its kind to become available in Australia. Concrete Playground’s Guide to Tonight now works with Google Assistant, making it available on a range of Google devices and helping people to decide what […]

Digital Agency Inlight Secures Two Key Client Wins
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Digital Agency Inlight Secures Two Key Client Wins

Independent agency Inlight has announced it has won the digital account for Benetas, a not-for-profit aged care provider in Victoria. Following a competitive pitch process, Inlight was chosen to handle Benetas’ new website design, build and ongoing optimisation. Richard Barker, marketing manager at Benetas, said: “We wanted an agency that could be our true digital […]

AMI Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!
  • Marketing

AMI Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!

With almost 30 awards handed out, B&T predicts plenty of numb bottoms at last night's AMI Awards in Melbourne.

Clems Sydney CEO Andy Pontin Quits
  • Advertising

Clems Sydney CEO Andy Pontin Quits

Sure, B&T flashed the news of Andy Pontin quitting this morning. White lies aside, he's actually still got six months.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Adobe MAXes Most Creatives In A Room Record
  • Advertising
  • Media

Adobe MAXes Most Creatives In A Room Record

B&T's journo is reporting live from the annual Adobe Summit in Vegas. Although, "reporting" is somewhat of a stretch.

Opinion

by David Hovenden

David Hovenden
Digital Women’s Network & The Australian College Of Marketing Unveil Latest Short Courses
  • Marketing

Digital Women’s Network & The Australian College Of Marketing Unveil Latest Short Courses

The Australian College of Marketing is collaborating with the Digital Women’s Network to bring new short courses aimed to provide the latest skills across all aspects of the Digital landscape, kicking off in Melbourne and Sydney in 2018. Course content will focus around various topics related to the digital marketing landscape. All courses will run […]

Man working at office desk, looking at computer and scratching head
  • Technology

Where Are Digital & Tech Skills & Salaries Headed?

The rapid pace of technological change in the digital sector is seeing demand for those with the right skill sets outstrip availability, both locally and globally. The individuals who have kept their skills up to date are being well-rewarded financially. Now, Digital + Technology Collective’s expanded annual Skills and Salary Survey will put some numbers and context […]

Disney & ESPN Unify Sales & Partnerships Teams
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Disney & ESPN Unify Sales & Partnerships Teams

Disney and ESPN have formed an even closer bond, announcing a new alignment of the two properties through their media sales and partnerships teams. Instead of entering through three doors, Disney ESPN Media Sales & Partnerships will give media buyers and marketers a refined, singular point of entry for Disney, ESPN Digital and Maker. Nik […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Sydney Start-up Muzaara Partners With Commission Factory To Turbocharge Digital Ad Spends
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Sydney Start-up Muzaara Partners With Commission Factory To Turbocharge Digital Ad Spends

Sydney-based adtech start-up Muzaara has announced a new strategic partnership with performance marketing platform Commission Factory. Together, Muzaara and Commision Factory are providing SMEs with a secret weapon to skyrocket their online brand visibility and effectively manage and maximise their online advertising campaigns. This partnership will allow both online marketing companies and their impressive roster […]

Kellogg’s Creates AR Halloween Trick Or Treat Experience Via Shazam & Orchard
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Kellogg’s Creates AR Halloween Trick Or Treat Experience Via Shazam & Orchard

Breakfast cereal manufacturer Kellogg’s has joined forces with Shazam and digital agency Orchard to deliver a first-of-its-kind augmented reality (AR) Halloween Trick or Treat experience for families. The campaign, which leverages Shazam’s visual recognition platform and recently-launched AR platform, sees Kellogg’s pilot the replacement of physical gifts in cereal packs with a digital experience that […]

Kraft Heinz Appoints Cummins&Partners As New Creative Agency
  • Advertising

Kraft Heinz Appoints Cummins&Partners As New Creative Agency

Kraft Heinz today confirmed the appointment of Cummins&Partners as its new Creative agency after an extensive pitch process. They will be responsible for brand strategy and integrated creative across the expanding Kraft Heinz portfolio including Kraft, Heinz and Golden Circle. A Kraft Heinz spokesperson said: “After an exhaustive search involving a competitive pitch, we have made […]