Pokémon Go was only very recently launched, yet managed to be downloaded by millions of users in no time. That by itself is already a notable record. But how did it get to take the world by storm? Is it the brand, nostalgia and what role do media play?
The killing factors
There are a couple of factors that helped feed its current success. First of all you have the fans who are rather nostaligic about Pokémon being a phenomenon in the ‘90s. Then there’s obviously the fact that it can be downloaded for free, combined with Nintendo’s reputation of publishing user-friendly and easily accessible games.
However the most important reason for its current success is augmented reality. It is in fact the first big augmented reality game out there appealing to various generations. People need to be outside and explore to be able to play the game. So curiosity most likely also plays a bigger part in the current success of the game.
Still, just being there will not keep on growing the hype.
The power of media
The enormous success of the launch earlier this month did not go unnoticed. Many fans started writing about their first experience with the game, there were group discussions on social media, the first Instagram posts about meeting the Pokémon creatures in the real world, YouTube videos, live feeds, you name it. Those helped boosting the downloads. But the snowball effect grew all over the world, even in regions where the game was not yet available.
Name one newspaper that hasn’t written an article about the game or its trending status. Think of one TV or radio channel that did not cover the hype. Most likely your list will be very short. It’s buzzing on radio, TV, printed and online press, you name it. As this is newsworthy they obviously report about it, but unintentionally they help grow the hype, feed curiosity and in the end will be the tools that will do Nintendo’s marketing.
Mapping the brand
Thinking of above it’s worth considering a media coverage analysis through media intelligence. Mapping media attention for a brand gives clear insights into when, where and for how long a brand maintains its popularity status. In some cases increases or drops of attention are even clearly reflected in market share fluctuations.
The coming weeks media intelligence companies will eagerly follow the evolution of Pokémon Go’s popularity. Will it be able to maintain its status, will media pay less attention to the hype? We’ll see.