Pokemon Go – are you a fan?

Pokemon Go eh?  Is it the next world-changing marketing phenomenon or just another short-lived, over-hyped PR-fest?

Well, it’s both, of course.

Tom Primrose, writing on the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising blog, is joining the crusade.  He believes brands are right to be excited and furthermore, they can learn lessons from Pokemon Go –  they should follow these principles which it embodies:

  • Be accessible
  • Embrace technology
  • Create a community
  • Have a higher purpose
  • Unleash the inner child

Above all, it’s the higher purpose – the way Pokemon Go encourages people to take exercise – that makes it powerful – more so than previous crazes which were basically sedentary.

Meanwhile Marketing Professor Mark Ritson is unconvinced.  To say the least.

His rant has a classic Ritson-esque climax: “The real lesson marketers can learn from Pokémon Go has nothing to do with the game, and everything to do with the wobbly, ephemeral state of marketing these days.”

He tells us the numbers of players cited are unproven, the revenues quoted are misleading and the implications people have drawn are misguided.  He goes on to point out that, like other crazes, this one will be over soon.

He’s right of course, but over-hyped ephemera are hardly new in marketing.  Nor are they necessarily a bad thing.  If only because they get this kind of heated debate going.


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