McDonald‘s to partner with Pokemon Go


What’s happened?
Pokémon Go has quickly become the world’s biggest mobile game, leaving marketers eager to associate themselves with the app. McDonald’s Japan has been announced as a sponsor, the first and currently only company to feature paid locations by turning their 3,000 restaurants in Japan into Pokestops and gyms to attract users.

This has not prevented other companies aligning themselves with the craze offline. Pokémon has been featured in offline creative including digital billboards and in store displays, with brands adapting creative to remain relevant to their audience. Additionally some small businesses including cafes and shops have begun purchasing “lures”, which are available for any user of the app to purchase, to draw in rare and harder to find Pokémon and with them Pokémon Go users.

Our take

Without the availability of in-app paid advertising, brands have creatively aligned themselves with Pokémon Go while it remains new and relevant. Beyond simply featuring Pokémon insignia in “traditional” media such as social media and outdoor, businesses have been able to react to the games’ inclusion of location mapping and physically draw in customers through the game without having any branded presence in the game.

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