Pokemon Go, a mobile gaming app that bridges the digital and physical worlds launched in the US a short week ago on July 11, 2016.
Since then everything has changed - in gaming, retail (on and offline), social engagement, entertainment, AR and AI technology and much, much more.
Every so often something comes along that is literally a sea-change but seems like a no-brainer when it happens. iPhone was like this. Apps were like this. No one knew we needed mobile apps until we had them - now it’s a multi-billion dollar industry.
As The Atlantic reports “Pokémon Go is essentially a maps application with a gaming layer. At its heart is a map of the player’s real-world surroundings, the neighboring streets and landmarks providing both its environment and its obstacles.” So there’s all kinds of articles and posts being written about how people are bumping in to each other or invading space designated by Go as a ‘gym’ and it’s a little chaotic right now.
But think of it - people are actually getting out in to the fresh air. They’re socializing IRL, and they’re excited. Will this last? Who knows. But the implications for other apps in other industries will remain. Think wellness games, think sponsorships for retailers, travel, food; think remote health - the list could go on and on.
In fact, it’s seems that McDonald’s will partner with Nintendo in some way over Pokemon Go. You can already see this in your mind’s eye - luring customers in to McDonald’s locations via the game with food incentives.
Marketers, branding experts, social media mavens - take note. Big changes are underway and a whole new ecosystem has just been launched. We’ll be watching and learning as we go.
Beverly Macy is author of The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing. She also teaches the Global Business of Sports & Entertainment at UCLA Anderson School of Management and she is a thought-leader in IoT, big data, and digital media transformation.