What does Pokemon Go have to do with Shopper Marketing?

Let’s set aside the debates about safety versus getting people walking around outdoors and focus for a moment on a few possible implications of Pokemon Go for shopper marketers.

1) Mainstream adoption of Augmented Reality. Between Pokemon Go and Snapchat, Augmented Reality has gone from industry “shiny object” to a much more commonplace, mainstream habit. And the secret? Entertainment versus selling. People weren’t willing to go through the trouble of engaging with the technology just to watch glorified commercials, but they’ll do it to see a video of their friends with funny hats on or to catch a Charmander.

2) New mobile behaviors. Part of the danger of Pokemon Go is that you use it while walking around. This is a surprisingly novel way for people to use their mobile phones, as many other kinds of mobile engagement are used during stolen moments of down time (commercials, between meetings, waiting for anything for more than 5 seconds) and often at least standing still. If not sitting. But with Pokemon Go, you are literally walking around with your eyes on your phone. And watching people do it is like watching a toddler take its first shaky steps. But maybe this will be the way an entire population learns to screen and walk at the same time. Or maybe this will be what ushers in mainstream adoption of Google glass

3) A potential partnership opportunity for the right brands. Since Pokemon Go is geographically specific, it makes for an intriguing partner for retailers – especially if there’s brand fit and/or audience overlap. It will be very interesting to watch what kinds of partnerships emerge over the next weeks and months. I predict Uber safaris so that Pokemon hunters can safely focus on catching their prey while someone else focuses on the road. You heard it here first!

What are your predictions for shopper marketing implications and applications of Pokemon Go? Would love to hear your thoughts.