Nintendo isn’t the only one cashing in on the success of Pokémon Go. Now restaurants and shops are using the game to stimulate their businesses.
Over the past week Pokémon Go has become one of the most popular gaming apps ever. In addition to giving Nintendo the best profits the company has seen in decades, the game has taken on a life of its own; from inspiring players to get out and ‘catch ’em all’ in the strangest of places to inspiring teens to try their hand at armed robbery. Now the game is helping businesses and restaurants attract customers.
"Pokémon are for paying customers only" — friend snapped this sign. pic.twitter.com/BeHh1aqO78
— Bobby Cherry (@GoBobbo) July 10, 2016
Beth Mock Le Blanc, the chief creative officer at MLB Creative, told Mashable that Pokémon Go is “the most cost-effective way for businesses to advertise to a younger audience at the moment — especially when paired with real-time advertising and special offers.” And businesses are doing just that.
Ha! Local mall T-Mobile trying to get you to upgrade your phone for Pokemon pic.twitter.com/dkGAyONZai
— Mara (@LilBigTrouble) July 10, 2016
One business taking advantage of the Poké-craze is the steakhouse chain, Tony Roma’s. Jim Rogers, the chief marketing officer at Tony Roma’s, made sure to locate all the Poké-spots, lure modules, and Gyms that coincided with his businesses. Then he and his staff would use the game’s location sharing capabilities to “lure” customers to the restaurants, which were simultaneously offering happy hour deals and displaying Pokémon related advertisements.
— Mr. Syndicate (@ProSyndicate) July 10, 2016
People are stopping in the restaurant because we have a lure here for Pokemon go
— brienne (@briennewelch) July 11, 2016
Another small buisness, L’inizio Pizza Bar in Long Island City, Queens, has found that Poké-mania really pays off. After spending only $10 to purchase lure modules (priced at 99€ each) to draw players into their restaurant, the pizza shop saw a 75% increase in customer traffic.
— Target (@Target) July 12, 2016
Eventually, the the game’s creators plan to offer businesses the opportunity to become a “sponsored location” in the game. Thanks to the ridiculously meticulous work of some computer geeks, it’s predicted that McDonald’s will become one of these “sponsored locations.” As if people needed any more motivation to hit McDanks than they already have.
Anyways, until Pokémon Go related advertising becomes overly commercialized, using Pokémon Go to attract potential customers and alert them of certain deals represents a gold mine of opportunity.