PokeMarketing: How Businesses Are Making Real Money With Pokemon Go


Catch 'em All... Customers that is

Pokemon Go was officially launched in the UK on the 14th of July (not that this stopped thousands of us playing it prior to this) and is already one of the most widely played mobile game in history. Savvy business owners are using this popularity to drive footfall, all in the hopes of catching wild Pokemon.

Basically, the game involves 3 things:

  1. Catching Pokemon. You walk around in real life, staring at the (Google) map on your phone. Occasionally, you’ll bump into a Pokemon which you catch using Pokeballs
  2. Pokemon Gyms. Once you have a few Pokemon, you can fight other players at gyms and gain experience
  3. PokeStops. In order to catch Pokemon you need PokeBalls which you get when visiting PokeStops

It’s at these Pokestops where business owners have been making real money… Pokemoney! Here's a few examples of how Pokemon Go is being used.

1 Pikachu To Go Please: Restaurants, Cafes & Bars

L’inizio Pizza Bar in America reported a 75% surge in sales after they started using Lures to attract Pokemon to their location. Owner Tom Lattanzio spend $10 on Pokemon Lures which are attached to PokeStops in order to attract Pokemon.

The power of a Lure is actually quite amazing; when you use a Lure everyone can see it on the map and within minutes, hordes of people begin shuffling towards it like a scene from The Walking Dead, all in the hopes of catching a new PokePet. These lures cost real money but when you work it out, it only costs 88p an hour. However with the opportunity of a 75% sales boost, it’s a no brainer! Here's an example of what happens when a rare Pokemon location is shared online:

Nintendo already have plans to rent out Pokestops - AKA Sponsored Locations - to willing businesses so now is the perfect time to try it out for free (provided you’re lucky enough to be close to a PokeStop).

Sponsored Locations: Car Dealerships

The developers of Pokemon Go, Niantic, previously developed a game called Ingress which allows you to control Portals, much like Pokemon Gyms. As random as it may sound, dealerships and rental services such as Zipcar have been sponsoring these portals to attract people to their showrooms. Once there, salesmen are able to persuade people to take a test drive which may lead to a sale!

Attaching a lure to your showroom to drive sales may sound crazy, but with such a wide fan base playing Pokemon Go, some of them will inevitably be in your target market.

Sponsored Pokemon: Travel & Tourism

The aim of Pokemon Go is to “catch ‘em all” but what if the only way to catch them all was to travel to certain locations? To give an example of the power of Pokemon; Sokcho, a town town in South Korea, is experiencing 4 times as many hotel bookings as usual. The game can’t yet be played in South Korea but a glitch has led Sokcho to be classed as being part of North America. People are literally travelling here just to play Pokemon Go.

The game plans to introduce special Pokemon Events which can be seen in the trailer above (at 1 minute 50). These events allow you to catch rare Pokemon at certain locations at specific times. The trailer shows 100s of people running into the city centre in order to catch the Pokemon - a scene which i can generally see happening when this feature is released.

Sponsored PokeStops have already been announced and it’s only a matter of time before Sponsored Pokemon come into play. Certain places such as Alton Towers, or even cities will pay big money to the rights to special Pokemon.

pokemon-go-newcastle.jpg

I can see Newcastle Tourism's slogan now: “Catch ‘em all... in Newcastle! The home of Reshiram & Zekro!” Get it… because they’re black & white… OK, maybe it needs some more work.

The Future Of PokeMarketing

With Nintendo’s shares rising by more than 50% since the launch, there’s so many opportunities for businesses. Now is the best time to take advantage of the Pokemon Go craze so attach lures to nearby PokeStops, tell your customers if there are any rare Pokemon nearby and invite people to upload pictures of Pokemon they’ve caught at your business on Social Media.

Need a bit of inspiration, check out my favourite examples below:



If you enjoyed reading this please share it on social media. As for me, i'm off to Fat Hippo for a burger (apparently there's a Lapras in there!).

Ian Ferguson

Digital Marketing Manager

Ian is our digital marketing specialist and manages client strategy on a daily basis. He shares his expertise on what's happening in the world of search and social media marketing.