We’re not brand marketers, so we’re giving away ideas for free
If you work in brand marketing, you have definitely heard about Pokémon GO by now. If you do and you haven’t, it might be time for another career.
And if you’ve read our commentary on it, you know that direct sponsorship opportunities on the app are not readily available.
First, you probably need a primer on Pokémon and Pokémon GO here. We’ll be waiting.
Also: full disclosure – the game creator, Niantic, is under heavy fire from core users for lack of communication, vague instructions, and a crumbling user interface.
Okay, you’re back. So how can a company participate without actually participating? Some free ideas from DMN below. Some brands may have already done something similar (we mention some brands in the article listed above), but that doesn’t mean you can’t get involved as well.
The caveat is that Pokémon GO is trademarked and any brand risks threats of legal action or takedown notices from the company if they use their branding in ads. But so far, it seems the makers of the game are more than happy with the free press (and more focused on their own customer issues right now).
Reward players for playing. It is very easy for a Pokémon GO player to come into your store to show you their phone or go online and upload a screen grab (though the latter can certainly be faked). Give a discount for just being a player, or reward just those who have caught a rare Pokemon.
Connect in-app inventory (pokeballs, bags, etc.) with retail products; ie: Spend $10 in the store and get $5 worth of pokecoins to use on in-game items. Visa versa.
Sponsor spawns of special “legendary” pokemon that cannot be obtained through normal means.
Sponsor and/or host “trainers,” advanced competitive players who travel and catch copious amounts of pokémon. Offer up their services through giveaways or to top-level customers.
Capture gyms near your store, and name the pokémon you store there after coupon codes, urls, hashtags, etc.
Identify and strike geotargeted ad deals with apps Pokémon GO players will be using in their quests (maps, Foursquare, weather).
Host/provide free food to Pokémon GO players out on their adventures.
Pokémon GO drains a lot of power from mobile phones. Give away free portable chargers, or install branded charging stations.
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