Pokemon Go Marketing

Catch ‘Em All (and Grab Some New Customers)

While Canadian Pokemon fans are eagerly awaiting the release of Pokemon Go, the delayed rollout to Canada gives businesses more time to plan marketing strategies for when the Pokeballs come out.

Simply put, this game takes the idea behind the classic card-and-video game and brings it to the real world. Players use their phone’s GPS and camera to walk around and “catch” Pokemon. You can then go to PokeSpots to gain experience points and train Pokemon, or go to a gym where you can challenge other players to combat. Both Pokespots and gyms are real places, often spots of significance.

Marketing to Pokemon Go audience

This is what the game looks like when using the app on your phone.

The new GPS-enabled mobile game has rocketed to the top of the App Store and has been installed over 5 million times on Android devices. In the US, it has been installed on more than 5% of all Android devices in the entire country. In just a meagre few days, it has more installs than dating app Tinder. There are more daily active users on Go than on Twitter.

In short, this game is blowing up and is poised to take Canada by storm upon release (expected soon).

So, how can your business take advantage and tap this massive customer base?

Here’s a couple of tips to get up-and-running right away and stay ahead of the curve when it launches north of the border.

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Third-party advertising

Social Media and Third-Party Advertising

As more groups turn to social media to reach large audiences fast, Canada’s election advertising laws scramble to remain as relevant as possible.

The world of third-party advertising can be a bit tricky, but there is one rule that should guide all efforts: any time you are paying to have something appear, you should assume it’s third-party advertising.

That means ads in newspapers, on television, broadcast on the radio or banner ads on websites all count as election advertising and need to be accounted for.

But how about on social media, the wild west of elections advertising?

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Hootsuite logo mascot

May the Fourth Be With You: The Winners and Losers of Star Wars Day

Each year, the fourth of May provides an opportunity for creatives at agencies across the world to come up with the best Star Wars puns and shareable images they can. The unofficial Star Wars Day generates buzz and creates a rare opportunity to connect with fans of the series and the emerging “geeks are cool” crowd.

Even here in Ottawa, the carillon on Parliament Hill rang out a 15-minute concert themed around space, including a rendition of the Imperial March. (By the way, this would end up in the “fail” category – as the government, playing the music of Darth Vader’s squad may not be the best idea.)

Let’s look back at how some of the world’s biggest brands took advantage of the annual celebration, while celebrating the winners and mocking the losers.

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Social media news

Social Circles: This Week in Social Media (December 1, 2014)

Each week, Social Circles brings you the biggest news from behind the social networks. Keep up to date with the latest trends, breaking news, and expert analysis from across the web.

This week’s wrap-up includes Tumblr’s rise in active users, Twitter’s problematic App Graph, Canada’s new digital diplomacy plans, and native advertising on Instagram and YouTube.

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Zombie Pranks Halloween Scary Advertising

Do Scares Equal Sales? Prankvertising’s Best Moments

What would your first reaction be if a company, trying to sell you a product, decided to scare you out of your wits? Maybe you’d fire off an angry e-mail, complain about it on Twitter, or simply avoid that company like the plague, right?

Well, what about if the company decided to scare someone else for your enjoyment? You don’t have to provide an answer to that one, because the public has already spoken.

Last week, Ford got into the Halloween spirit by finding 30 strangers, asking if they’d participate in a filmed test drive, and then instructing them to go through a specific car wash on the way to the shoot. The car wash just so happened to be set up as a comfortable home for zombies and demons, sending the oblivious reviewers into a screaming frenzy. Check out the video here:

The ad has already racked up over a million views on YouTube and was celebrated as AdWeek’s “Ad of the Day”.

There was none of the cliche car ad elements: no winding hills, no babies for the car’s intelligent braking systems to protect, no price comparison to competitors.

As Brook Johnston, a copywriter at Toronto’s brand agency FUSE Marketing Group, said, “The Ford stunt is fun. But what does it say about the brand or the specific vehicle? You don’t always need a direct tie, but it helps. A much better example was LG’s “Meteor” prank [linked here] because it paid off on the brand’s promise: screens so clear, you’ll think it’s real life. There’s connective tissue there. It makes sense.”

“That being said, it does take some cajones to freak people out courtesy of your brand,” Johnston says in an e-mail. “A lot of clients are way too terrified (of both the logistics and legalities) to actually try and bring one of these ideas to life. So you have to give them kudos for being brave enough to do it – if they do it well, that is.”

Ford stands out as a shining example of doing it well, and was successful in producing viral content under the banner of a mega-corporation, something often sought after but rarely executed.

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