When my mom tried to explain to me what a “fad” was in 1999, I wasn’t wrong when I insisted that Pokémon was forever.
Unless you were on a Snorlax-level snoozefest last week, you’re probably more than aware of the Poké craze that’s sweeping the nation. Considering that it’s already overtaking the popularity of mega apps like Tinder and Twitter, the trend is certainly something to pay attention to. Here at Wpromote, Pokémania is in full swing. From lunchtime Pokémon-hunting walks to periodic spottings around the office, it’s been an exciting element added to our already lively office. But what kind of agency would we be if we didn’t ask: “What does this mean from the marketer’s perspective?”
90’s Nostalgia is (Slo)King
While clearly dominating youth culture, the game has most interestingly captured the attention of the elusive millennial audience. And with the average modern 20-something’s reality dominated by student loan crises, global unrest, political headaches, and frustrating economic situations, it’s no wonder that a longing for childhood treasures is a characteristic particularly unique to this generation. If the successful reboots and animated sequels we’ve seen from Hollywood in the past few years weren’t evidence enough, Pokémon GO has made it clear that throwbacks resonate with 80’s and 90’s babies. Using this knowledge to your advantage can help your campaign connect with this population and draw new customers.
Rapid(ash) Response to Trends
Even more fascinating than the popularity of the game itself has been local businesses’ response to the craze. From dropping “lures,” which cause more Pokémon to show up in a certain area, to capitalizing on nearby PokéStops and offering deals to members of certain teams, Pokémon GO has proven a goldmine for creative marketing tactics. What’s key to keep in mind, however, is that the decisions to execute on such tactics are happening in real time. Kicking around ideas in a boardroom or on never-ending email chains isn’t an effective solution to responding to viral phenomena. This necessitates the question: Do I have a team that I can rely on to execute creative responses quickly and effectively? Forming a strong relationship with a great agency can help ensure that your answer is a resounding “yes.”
Offer an E(XP)erience
Modern marketing is about offering customers more than just products and services. It demands that we build relationships and connect with audiences on more than just a transactional level. No one likes being sold to anymore. The businesses that have seen Pokémon GO-related success have done so by actively inserting themselves into the game experience in a way that seems organic and natural to the end user. Nurturing those relationships can lead to long-term loyalty as strong as our love for Pikachu and friends.