Pokemon Go And How Augmented Reality Can Change The Marketing World

“Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones. The future is coming.”

MARK ZUCKERBERG, FaceBook post, March 25, 2014

Pokémon Go took over the world in a matter of days. Even though it is only available in a handful of countries everybody talks about it. This is great news for Nintendo, but on a broader scale, it is great news for marketeers as well. The reason for that is because it is showing us how much potential augmented reality has. In fact, I have no doubts that augmented reality holds the key to the future of communications and entertainment.

This opens a whole new playground for marketers and their creative minds. Even now you see shops, restaurants and bars taking advantage of the Pokémon Go madness that has possessed almost every person holding a smartphone. Chalkboards with signs in front of cafes saying that people can enter the premises to get their Pokémon, only if they buy something. Others are taking a different approach to the free opportunity and are welcoming more people into their establishments by telling them that they have a certain Pokémon in their shops. Here is a really good article from Forbes with some examples of business owners using Pokémon Go to get people in.

Pokémon Go is only the beginning of how augmented reality (AR) will affect our lives in the near future. Augmented reality, I believe, will be much more successful than virtual reality (VR), because it can be used in much more different areas. VR will probably be big in video gaming and entertainment industry. AR, on the other hand, does not stop there. If you watch these TED Talks you will realise how this new technology can change the way we communicate, the way we fight deceases, the way we learn, the way we create art and so much more. These TED Talks are showing only a small piece of the capability of AR and VR

The opportunities created by AR and VR will definitely change the world of marketing too. Product positioning in movies and video games will go to a whole another level. The specific targeting will continue and all the clutter we see on TV, billboards and radio stations could be gone soon. Well, actually I will take that back. We are too deep in the gutter. I will paraphrase that: the clutter will be upgraded and we better brace ourselves.

There are already some projects like the one Cisco made for their billboards. The billboards are reacting on the reality that is happening on the street. Sensors are telling the billboards with what speed the traffic is moving and changes the image of the billboards according to it. If the traffic is moving fast the message is short. The slower the traffic, the longer the message is. Read more about Cisco’s strategy in this article from adage.com

How long until the billboard recognises your car and registration number? Obviously it will be very hard for the billboard to show a different advertisement specialised for each and every individual on the road. The collected data though could be summarised and determine if the majority of drivers are men or women and if they are young or old. With this information, they can better target the audience at specific moments. So here is the possibility of “pay per click” model. The company will pay the advertiser only for the time their add was shown on the billboard.

I wouldn’t be surprised if anytime soon while trying to catch a Pokémon, people will start seeing billboards or on their maps in the screens. These ads will, of course, be targeted for the specific user.


How big is this for Internet and mobile providers? With Pokémon Go draining batteries and consuming data like nothing before, there are huge opportunities for the mobile providers to lure customers to them by offering them “all you can eat data”. Portable batteries will increase their market as well. A lot of coffee shops, restaurants and pubs in Ireland are already thinking ahead and supplying themselves with extra outlets and improving their wireless connections. That is one way to get extra traffic flow into your business.

What about the rest of us though? The ones that do not want in in that madness. Well, you can always make your pub a Pokémon free zone. I would love to go to a place like that and I am sure there is more like me. It is working for places that have no Wi-Fi and want the people to communicate with each other in an original way, looking into each other’s eyes. No Wi-Fi will not be ideal for those who just do not want Pokémon hunters around though. There will be people who would still like to check their emails and send messages. Just a Pokémon Go free zone will be the place to go and relax.

These are only a handful of ideas I could come up with, that can be used in marketing. I am sure there are more creative people than me, that will amaze us in the near future using apps like Pokémon Go, as well as augmented reality and virtual reality.

To be completely honest with you guys, I have no idea what Pokémon is or are and how Pokémon Go works exactly. I have not had the chance to play the game yet as it is not released in Ireland. I will probably never do though either. But what amazes me is how Nintendo took the opportunity of augmented reality technologies and drove the world crazy about their game. They showed us how AR will affect us and opened up a new playground for marketers around the world.

Comments (3)

This is my favorite cartoon for sure!

This blog is written very nicely, I really appreciate the idea and the content. Keep sharing!
The Brands Info

Your Idea is superb, You explained everything so clearly!
Bikinishe Reviews

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