Yep. That’s right. I’m writing about Pokemon GO.
Are you surprised…? Should you be?
So as we all know, Pokemon GO has FINALLY graced our smartphones. It seems like only yesterday it was announced and nobody really paid it all that much attention, and now here we are and EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED. You all know what it is and how it works and all of that, so I’m not going to review the damn thing. What I am going to do though is spend a little time discussing the implications of such technology and what we as advertisers can do to make use of it.
I’ve been an advocate of Augmented Reality for years, but outside of a few minor moments (and the catastrophe that was Google Glass) it hasn’t exactly taken off in the mainstream until now. Reasons for this are disputed, but it may be simply that, as we’ve seen from Pokemon GO, the tech still needs work to be the truly seamless and immersive experience that it has the potential to be. If GO wasn’t Pokemon-branded, I doubt we would accept its (glaring!) flaws as easily as we have, but at least it seems as though the technology has finally been given the attention it deserves.
I expect that as AR becomes a more well-known method of gaming, it will push smartphone tech and force it to become more accommodating. Expect major battery and processing improvements as AR applications become more commonplace, as well as increased data plans from carriers. Technology like this could really be life-changing.
One of the things which really surprised me about the launch is how quickly businesses switched on and took advantage of the phenomenon. Offering discounts for players based on what Pokemon they have or which team they are on, setting up lures (I’ll come back to this) at Pokestops at or adjacent to their venues to attract both Pokemon and people, and filling their socials with related content and jokes. As the game grows, it has been suggested that ‘sponsored’ lures would be implemented, allowing businesses to pay or receive payment to set up lures at their stores.
There are so many opportunities for businesses to take advantage of the technology in Pokemon GO. As the game grows, it may be possible for the GPS tech to advance to the point where a business could hide rare Pokemon inside their buildings instead of just outside, requiring a player to spend x amount of time inside the physical space before the Pokemon comes out. Using the live-updating nature of the game, businesses could place virtual ads or offers in the AR space, on the sides of buildings, along the ground or even in the air. Businesses could even gift players vouchers, discounts or other incentives when they use Pokestops. The possibilities are really exciting.
Anyway, that’s just scratching the surface of the types of things AR tech, specifically within GO, can offer advertisers and businesses alike. I’m excited to be entering the industry at a time when such technology is just emerging, and can’t wait to work with it to take the field into new and exciting places.