After many tried and failed attempts at globalizing Augmented Reality (A.R.), it’s safe to say that Pokémon Go may have been the craze that was needed to kick off the predicted $120 billion AR industry.

But what made Pokémon Go become successful so quickly that it caused Nintendo’s market value to increase by $9 billion within five days?

It definitely wasn’t a large budget marketing campaign. Nintendo is thought to have done very little to support this phenomenal success in terms of marketing.

Pokémon Go mobile engagement

Pokémon Go phone shot

Important points to remember when activating an A.R. campaign:


The key to this viral trend is due to simplicity. Using a simple graphic overlay on top of Google maps, this interactive game can be played on nearly every smartphone. This, combined with a free to play offering, means that Pokémon appeals to everyone from young to old.


Pokémon engages the audience by offering an uncomplicated and ever surprising gamify experience. Children can relate to the cool cartoon characters and the adventure, while millennials in particular are invoked with feelings of nostalgia whilst playing the game.


There is a competitive element to the game with people joining teams and battling it out to takeover Augmented Reality gyms. Players want to get one-up on their friends by catching rarer and stronger Pokémon, and thus, have bragging rights.


People love to share experiences with family and friends on social media and Pokémon Go makes it easy to screenshot in Augmented Reality mode and upload it to social media channels. Shareability is all about having a cool edge and creating something unique that intrigues and excites people. This is definitely the case for Pokémon Go, with the game going viral in a matter of days.


The makers of Pokémon Go have built longevity into the platform by the ability to attract new sponsors and build new game levels, such as the potential to sponsor a gym or locate a Pokémon in store. This is a clever way of ensuring that the game is not just a fad that ends quickly but rather it grows, increasing its players and influence on the gaming world.

Pokemon Gomobile engagement

Pokémon Go gives a feel good factor. Mix this with a sense of achievement and added health benefits for players, and we have a recipe for a popular game that will be around for a very long time.

Augmented Reality has finally gone global. It’s now up to brands to jump on this fast moving train and move into the new future of customer engagement. But remember: simplicity is key to a successful campaign.