New mobile phenomenon: Pokémon GO
Uses augmented reality so players can chase and capture monsters
July 12, 2016
The game is the latest version of “Pokémon,” which debuted for Nintendo’s original Game Boy system in 1995. Co-developed with mobile app maker Niantic, the game uses augmented reality to allow players to hunt fictional monsters in the real world.
Using GPS technology, the game tracks where players are and places Pokémon (pocket monsters) in the physical real world, visible only through a smartphone’s camera. The idea is to catch and train the monsters, which will help players level up.
This is why you may see people wandering around the street holding out their phones. It’s happening all over the country. It is free to play but features in-app purchases, which can help players advance more quickly.
Other major elements of the game include PokéStops, which gives players in-game items when they check in. These stops are tied to real physical locations such as parks, churches or stores.
There are also Gyms tied to real physical locations, where the trained monsters battle each other for neighborhood supremacy. These PokéStops and Gyms are where geo-targeting could come in.
The locations of PokéStops and Gyms were predetermined by the game’s developers, so businesses can’t apply to become one. But the game allows players to purchase and use Lure Modules, which attracts the virtual monsters to a physical location for 30 minutes.
Already businesses are using this feature to draw people to their locations. Others have offered customers discounts if they’ve aligned with one of the game’s three factions.
The game has been out for less than a week in the U.S., and already has yielded positive and negative results.
Even though it’s free it has sent Nintendo’s stock soaring, suddenly making it a player in the mobile gaming space.
But the game has already provided some scary moments as well, a byproduct of sending players out in the real world to locations they may not be familiar with.
One player in Wyoming was searching for a water monster and encountered a dead body along the way. Others in Missouri were robbed as armed thieves waited for players to show up in a location the game steered them to.
There have also been other stories of neighborhoods flooded with people wandering around and holding their phones up, prompting confusion among those not familiar with the game and annoyance among others.
Another consequence: Clogging your social media feeds with people talking about their progress on the game, making you nostalgic for the days of Farmville and Candy Crush.
After nearly 18 years, it’s time to say good-bye
Yet more evidence native advertising doesn’t work
A new type of cord-cutting: Snipping broadband
Coming, the collapse of radio’s iHeartMedia
Weeklies: Surviving if not thriving in digital age
Tweeter in chief: How Trump could save Twitter
Shows Trump hates are seeing big ad gains
Broadcast vs. cable: How the top shows stack up
A sign that coughs at your cigarette smoke
The word: Time Inc. sale is imminent
Rundown: Which advertisers have jumped from YouTube
Media Life’s Digital Media Transparency Initiative
HBO does hard time with Dwayne Johnson
- Arun Kumar becomes chief data and marketing tech officer at IPG
- Jenny Campbell rises to managing director at 72andSunny
- Adam Crandall becomes director of strategy at mono
- Mark Wildman rises to EVP of partnerships at Westwood One
- Kevin Craig rises to SVP of newspaper relations at AMG/Parade
- Bill Corvalan becomes VP of West Coast partnerships at AllOver Media
- Richard Just becomes editor at The Washington Post Magazine
- Gemma Lawson rises to VP and design director at Nickelodeon
- Ashley Judd joins Epix' 'Berlin Station'
- Former NBC ad sales executive Robert Blackmore dies at age 90
This week’s broadcast ratings
This week’s cable ratings
This week’s top-rated movies, songs and books
This week’s daypart ratings
This month’s digital traffic data: December 2016
Ad sales rep for a digital-only magazine
Freelance media planner/buyer available for all markets
Wanted: Media buyer in Philadelphia
Paid social media planner wanted in Detroit
Opening for a media planner at a top OOH agency