With 21 million users playing the game, it’s no wonder Pokémon Go is the most popular mobile app in U.S. history, beating Candy Crush Saga in 2013. The game is a free-to-play, location-based, augmented reality, mobile game developed by Niantic and published by the Pokémon Company. Now advertisers are jumping on the bandwagon.
Niantic chief executive officer, John Hanke, recently announced a new feature for Pokémon Go advertising: sponsored locations. This new feature allows businesses to pay the app to be a location within the virtual game board. This increases foot traffic to businesses due to the nature of the game requiring users to walk around and visit locations to capture Pokémon.
Niantic will charge advertisers on a “cost per visit” basis, similar to cost per click where Google charges when a consumer clicks a search ad.
Companies are already seeing a huge increase in foot traffic and sales in just a few days. The Financial Times reported that L’Inzio Pizza Bar, a pizza restaurant in Long Island City, Queens saw a business increase of 75 percent after buying a $10 in-game power-up that lured Pokémon to its location, which enhances its visitor’s experience. Gigi, the manager of Fiddler’s Green, an Irish pub and eatery in Orlando, says, “We are a Pokemon gym and people like Fiddler’s Green being a gym because you can hunt Pokemon and have a good pint at the same time. Pokemon Go is great fun for our customers and our employees.” Other businesses and organizations, such as the Art Institute in Chicago are also investing in Pokémon Go advertising to increase visits.
With a 50% stock increase in Nintendo this past week alone, Pokémon Go is projected to continue to rapidly increase in popularity with bi-weekly updates, especially when it hits global markets.
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