How brands are jumping on the Pokémon Go bandwagon: the good and the bad
Pokémon Go has gone big very quickly, and brands have been quick to jump on the opportunity.
Pokémon Go may not even have a worldwide release yet, as it’s only available in US, Australia and New Zealand, but it’s rapidly surpassing WhatsApp, Instagram and Snapchat in terms of usage time.
Over the past few days, we’ve seen several examples of brands referring to Pokémon Go and there’ll be many more.
Not every mention was successful, so we decided to present the best and the worst mentions from Twitter.
Our favourite example comes from the Tennessee Highway Safety Office and it raises awareness regarding the increased dangers of playing while driving.
Whataburger in Texas and the Australian ME Bank were among the funniest and most relevant brand mentions we came across on social media, as they managed to skilfully blend their focus with the trend.
However, they were not the only ones:
— Waterstones Walton (@WaterstonesWoT) July 11, 2016
Well played, Amazon.
— Amazon (@amazon) July 11, 2016
— Fuzzy’s Taco Shop (@fuzzystacoshop) July 11, 2016
— Mall of America (@mallofamerica) July 11, 2016
— ΔZ UofL (@uofldeltazeta) July 11, 2016
— UCLA MBA Admissions (@uclaMBA) July 11, 2016
— trainline (@thetrainline) July 11, 2016
Sometimes a brand should think twice before posting about a trending topic, as the expectations are already high and the competition even higher.
Only refer to such a popular topic if you can really support it and be relevant to your audience, or else your message will be ignored, and even worse, it may be used as an example in posts like this 😉
The example above is not too bad, but it may be too direct for some consumers. If you had to target Pokémon users, it might have been a better idea to provide them free charging inside your shop, as a way to make them stay longer.
And of course, there are more examples of tweets that probably didn’t offer much of a value for the brands.
— Countable (@countable) July 11, 2016
Lure on the bike art outside Union Ladro! Come get your morning coffee & #PokemonGo
— Caffe Ladro (@LadroRoasting) July 11, 2016
— Juan C. Cardenas (@GORealtorUSA) July 11, 2016
— Ryan and App (@RyanandApp) July 11, 2016
Even if it’s not relevant for a brand, there is still a way to create appealing content for its audience, provided that there is the right connection.
Users will certainly appreciate a clever post, or a funny reference, but don’t expect that a popular topic can instantly boost the engagement of a post.
Some cases were not very successful, as they simply used a hashtag, or a reference to Pokémon Go to promote their own message, which usually doesn’t turn out to be very effective.
Make sure that the content you’re creating is a good fit for your audience and find ways to expand it or even discover new marketing opportunities.
For example, there is an interesting potential for local businesses to seize the trend of Pokémon Go and increase the business prospects.
— Osborn Barr (@osborn_barr) July 11, 2016
Some businesses are already trying to promote their presence on the game, and it actually seems like a good idea, provided that they’re ok with having people around that may not necessarily end up being customers.
Do not hesitate to join the popular discussion if you feel that your brand can benefit from it. However, whether brands are aiming to engage with their users or increase brand awareness, context can make a difference.