“It came as quite a surprise to me that Pokémon was about to be part of the Splendid Hospitality Group’s marketing campaign. However just one day after the official UK launch my team was enthusiastically riding the crest of this Augmented Reality trend.
Pokémon Go is based on the 1990s video game which meant that there were generations of ready-made fans keen to indulge their feelings of nostalgia and get involved. In the US more people were actively participating than using twitter. (Who would ever have predicted that!) In under a week, Pokémon Go overtook CandyCrush as the highest grossing game on the App Store.
So what did we do at SHG? Having identified this opportunity, we created the hashtag SHGPokemon, encouraging SHG staff to utilise the tag. We decided to offer free drinks to anyone who screenshot themselves catching a Pokémon in our hotels. This created a real buzz for us, and involvement from the SHG family has been fantastic.
Businesses the world over have been profiting simply because of their proximity to PokéStops and Gyms (players can train and battle their Pokémon in Gyms!). Now it seems Pokémon Go’s developer Niantic is accepting requests and applications for additional locations for both of these, exclusively for businesses. This may be an excellent and cost effective way for the SHG family to extend company awareness from the tail end of this trend.
On the other hand, like most instant over-night phenomenon the very number of people taking part has created huge problems and disappointments and Niantic has just been forced to take away some of the features that made the game so attractive.
Perhaps there will be more promotions to be had as the game itself grows and develops, but I believe that SHG needs to look further ahead to keep up with the trend. Recognising the power of Smartphone integrated AR, in the future we may benefit from looking more generally to the world of AR games and apps.
Anticipating upcoming trends in this sector of technology (or most sectors) is a challenge, but with diligence and sensitivity to the zeitgeist, SHG can be an early adopter of any beneficial trend.”
– Louise Wright, Group Director of Sales and Marketing