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It’s been three weeks since Pokémon Go took the world by storm. The location-based augmented reality app that has aspiring Pokémon Trainers walking the streets day and night searching for Pokémon has already surpassed the downloads of other big name apps like Tinder. The app by Niantic is being used for more time each day than other popular apps Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

In the few short weeks since Pokémon Go’s release, marketers and savvy business owners have been quick to exploit the trend. Many businesses with brick and mortar locations have started purchasing Lures; an in-app attraction device that draws more Pokémon to the area. Then, thanks to a bit of advertising on social media, those businesses sit back and watch as customers flock to their stores, increasing both sales and exposure. L’inizio’s Pizza Bar was quick on the uptake after the release of the game, purchasing Lures and seeing an initial 30 percent spike in food and drink sales. Establishments situated near Pokémon Gyms or PokéStops have benefited from the trend as well, with an increase in foot traffic around their location.

Pokemon (1)

Purchasing Lures is not the only form of Pokémon-inspired marketing (or PokéMarketing, if you will), that’s been utilized over the past weeks. ‘Pokémon Trainer Discount Here’ signs, logos transformed into Pokéballs, and special deals for Trainers who’ve caught Pokémon nearby, are just a few examples of the Pokémon fad being used as a marketing tool. Websites such as Buzzfeed have created articles targeted at Pokémon enthusiasts to draw traffic to their sites. Businesses are also posting screenshots of nearby Pokémon on their social media pages to feed off the high interest in the subject. In this way, the craze is proving to be a useful digital marketing tool (or, if you’re as crazy about play on words as us, a digital Magikarpeting tool).

As any avid player can attest, hunting for Pokémon can chew through the battery of a Trainer’s phone, and companies selling portable charging devices have been cashing in on the craze, too. Traffic to sites that sell these portable chargers, like gadget manufacturer Scosche, has more than doubled. The impact of the release of Pokémon Go, and the overwhelming popularity of it, can be observed across industries.

A portable Bluetooth device, Pokémon Go Plus, is set to be released in the coming weeks. The small device, shaped like something between a Pokéball and the Google Maps pin, can be worn as a bracelet or pinned to the player’s clothing. The Go Plus device will vibrate and flash LED when approaching a PokéStop, or when there are Pokémon nearby. This will allow players to hunt and catch Pokémon without unlocking their phone screens, in an effort to reduce the amount of phone battery drained by the game. At this stage it’s unconfirmed when the Bluetooth device will be released, but it could be as soon as the end of this month.

It may be too soon to say if this popular app will stick, or if this Pokémania will end in the same way as Flappy Bird and other one-hit-wonders before it. If it’s a near-term play, get in the game.

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