Pokémon Go Celebrates is 1st Birthday with Style

Pokémon Go Celebrates is 1st Birthday with Style

Mobile apps get birthdays, too. When it comes to marketing, Niantic and Nintendo have always been on point. Pokémon Go has celebrated its first birthday, hosting a slew of data-powered outdoor advertisements in New York, London and Tokyo.


AR and the World of Consumers


2016 was a big year for AR and mobile-based marketing. Niantic’s big, new-year bash is far more than an anniversary. Pokémon Go, last year, revolutionized the way brands extend offers to device carriers. The game has over 750 million downloads, and it’s being celebrated with content its current players love.


The Pokémon Go team kicked off June 13 with several events. All hosted in Pokémon Go’s in-game world, each event triggered a resurge in players and community events alike. The Solstice Event gave massive discounts to account holders. Meanwhile, the Pokémon Go Fest Chicago! event is expected to start on July 22. It’s being hosted in Chicago’s Grant Park, but everyone is invited.


Can You Say Tickets?


Pokémon Go’s event isn’t free. In fact, tickets will go live soon to precede the event’s reveal. Over in Europe, the Pokémon Go development team has partnered with Unibail-Rodamco, holding a slew of special events between June and September. Players in Japan have a similar event. They’re welcomed to Yokohama, engaging August’s “Pikachu Outbreak” event.


The game has reached a mind-boggling 16 million Pokémon captured in New York. In London, it’s 17.5 million. Tokyo: 32.2 million. The Pokémon Go celebration might’ve spawned from a callout event, but it’s anything but a simple highlight. Many on-location billboards have been activated as PokéStops in the game’s digital display. Players can engage these digital locations for rewards—and even special catches.


Modern Innovation and AR


Pokémon Go has been around for a year, and it’s resulted in quite a few innovative marketing pushes. Between location marketing, digital marketing and mobile deals, businesses have it made. Niantic has already partnered with McDonald’s and Costa, transforming their outlets into in-game hotspots.


Understandably, a partnership with Niantic is a lucrative one. The world of Pokémon Go is as big as ours, and it’s jam-packed with fun features. Augmented reality has come a long way, and Pokémon Go has popularized it. Where small businesses are considered, in-store discounts based on trainer level, Pokémon collections or a number of other benchmarks exist. While many small businesses can’t buddy up with Niantic—for lacking money, really—they can still piggyback on the game’s natural allure.


Where Do We Go from Here?


The Pokémon Go craze is coming to a head, and Niantic’s Pokémon bash in major cities is guaranteed to prompt more small business step-ups. Whether it’s a celebration, a location-specific amenity or mobile-only options, Pokémon Go has its bases covered. As long as players can make use of local, real time data, there will be an in-app feature waiting for them. As a result, there will also be real-world businesses who can capitalize on the game’s incredible accessibility, reliability and—to put it bluntly—addictive nature.


Pokémon Go isn’t going anywhere, but its players are. They’re flocking to big cities, across towns and into local restaurants, shops and historical landmarks. Niantic’s birthday bash will certainly be a good one. Now, we need to see what the businesses do.