Japanese mobile carrier turns stores into Pokemon Go locations


  • Pokemon Go creator Niantic has partnered with Japanese telecom SoftBank Group to turn 3,700 of the mobile carriers’ stores into PokeStops and PokeGyms in the Pokemon Go game.
  • The move boosted SoftBank shares by 1.6% and Nintendo shares 3.3%, according to Bloomberg.
  • McDonald’s Japan was the first brand to jump on the PokeStop bandwagon with a deal made just weeks after the release of the augmented reality game in the U.S. and coordinated with its release in Japan. That move increased McDonald’s shares 24%.


The manic phase of Pokemon Go’s viral success appears to be over just less than two months after its U.S. release, but the SoftBank deal makes it obvious that brands are still interested in leveraging the phenomenon, especially in the Japanese market. One early success in the U.S. was GameStop, a longtime licensee of Pokemon products, that reported doubled sales in its 462 stores that were designated as PokeStops.

The game became wildly popoular almost immediately after its July 6 release. Research found it created 1.1 billion interactions and was engaged with by 231 million people on Facebook and Instagram during July. But all evidence points toward the craze being on the wane: Researcher Apptopia has found that Pokemon Go had almost 45 million daily users at its peak, but is now down to around 30 million.

Even as the game follows a predictable path from summertime viral hit to a game with a more realistic (and less enthusiastic) user base, Pokemon Go offers marketers a number of lessons. At a basic level, it is a case study of how to combine on- and offline elements to drive engagement in mobile marketing. But perhaps more importantly, it offers marketers a blueprint on how to take advantage of augmented and virtual reality technology, two cutting edge technologies for marketers that hold promise for marketers.

Source: Marketing Dive

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