Have we reached peak Pokemon? The answer is probably not, as many Asian countries are still waiting for the hit augmented reality (AR) game to reach their shores, including Singapore, Thailand, India, and Indonesia.
Since its launch on 6 July in the US, Australia and New Zealand, followed by Japan and Hong Kong last week, Pokemon Go has become a global phenomenon, turning people of all ages into walking “zombies,” quite literally.
SEE ALSO: Korean retailers ride on Pokemon Go craze
Love it or hate it, the game — and its implications for retailers — can’t be ignored. Besides attracting extra foot traffic into their stores, retailers are also getting creative with special offers and discounts.
Here’s how several companies in Asia Pacific are using Pokemon Go to boost their businesses:
1) McDonald’s Holdings Co. in Japan became the first official sponsor of Pokemon Go, turning its 3,000 stores across Japan into Pokegyms (aka. battle grounds for the virtual monsters).
2) Virgin Mobile Australia engaged Pokémon Go players in reality by allowing them to charge their phones in-store.
3) Mantra Group launched the world’s first Pokemon Go-friendly hotels in Sydney and Melbourne, encouraging fans to ‘Pokestop By Our Bar’ with free Pokemon Go Lures to increase their chances of catching one of the virtual pocket monsters.
Gamers in Sydney can receive a free bowl of fries with any drink purchase, while Melburnian Pokemon Go catchers can cash in on happy hour drinks every Friday in July.
4) Mobile operators CSL and 1010 announced they would give customers free, unlimited data to play the game.
5) APM mall in Kwun Tong implemented “Lure Modules” — a function that makes it easier for players to find and catch the Pokemon — around the shopping centre, and updated the whereabouts of the virtual monsters on its social media pages.
SEE ALSO: How Pokemon Go can help traditional retailers
6) Another leading property developer, Swire Properties, utilised its Facebook and Instagram accounts to help customers spot Pokemon at its three flagships Cityplaza, Pacific Place and Taikoo Place.
7) Uber competitor Grab baited Pokemon and their trainers by buying several in-app lures, and hosting a meetup where they spread the lures.
During the PR event, Grab offered a promo code “GrabPokemon” for discounted rides with its car and bike taxi services to and from the meetup venue.
8) Retail chain Ace Hardware offered vouchers to people who were able to catch Pokémon in their stores country-wide.
Not everyone is interested in the additional foot traffic though. The Hong Kong Police Force, Hospital Authority, religious centres and People’s Liberation Army made it very clear that Pokemon gamers should stay off their premises, and some retailers have chosen to boycott the game entirely.
Brands should also think carefully before devising any promotions with Pokemon Go, as the game’s target audience of mostly millenials might not be a fit with your brand.
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