Pokémon Go – a perfect example of the ‘D’ word

Anyone with a vague interest in marketing, gaming and technology cannot have missed the phenomenon of Pokémon Go.  In literally three days, Pokémon Go has had an impact on both Twitter and Facebook usage.

Pokémon Go — a geo-location-based, augmented reality (AR) mobile game — is a collaboration between the Pokémon Company and Niantic, an AR company behind mobile game Ingress. Players use the game’s geo-location feature and their phone cameras to find virtual Pokémon — little animated creatures — in various locations in their area in real time.

An article just yesterday from USA Today showing research from SimilarWeb & eMarketer shows daily time spent on Pokémon Go is 43 minutes,  ahead of WhatsApp, Snapchat and Facebook.

By today, Thursday, Pokémon Go had more android installs than Tinder.  Global data (from SimilarWeb) shows that New Zealand and Australia lead the world with percentage installs on android phones.  16% in New Zealand and 15% Australia.  Australia already has the highest daily active usage (DAU) of 8%.

SurveyMonkey today announced that Pokémon Go is the ‘biggest mobile game in US history’.  At the beginning of the week, Pokémon Go had 21 million daily active users in the USA ahead of Candy Crush and every other game

Pokémon Go is the latest and biggest (to date) example of digital disruption as well as the best use case for augmented reality (AR).

Whilst many big digital brands have been talking and exploring AR, this really is the best use case ever.  I spent an hour this morning running through the streets of Balmain with my 8 year old and it was so much fun finding Pokémon in the high street and in a few parks. The game is active, engaging and habit forming.  I do however have concerns about the safety of gamers.

Its early days but there is every indication that this is more than just a one off.  Its not just kids and millennials playing either.  Given the nostalgic power of the brand, this game will appeal to many consumer segments.

Why should we in the marketing and media industry care?  Well this is this is yet another example of the power of digital.  In particular, mobile gaming.  Its also an amazing example of disruption.  Brands should take note.  Pokémon Go will quickly create opportunities for in-game advertising and partnerships, I’m sure.  There are already local business advertising opportunities linking Pokémon to their business.

There is no doubt that the delightful ‘D’ word is out in force. If you haven’t yet, download and have a play.  Gotta catch them all.

About: Vijay

Vijay Solanki was SCA’s Chief Digital Officer and has recently been appointed the new CEO of IAB. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is the peak trade association for online advertising in Australia.

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