Our associate, Los Angeles-based communications professional Gabrielle Boyd has written a guest post for the AHA blog on the overwhelming success of Pokémon Go.


dreamstime_xs_74773726As a public relations professional, I was simultaneously astounded and envious by the success of the Pokémon Go launch. You couldn’t turn on any radio station, television news or even go on Facebook or Twitter without hearing some story about Pokémon Go. Hate it or love it, everyone was talking about it and aware of it – which is the goal of most brands. And almost two months after the game’s release, it is still making headlines! Here I am being envious again…

Here are five reasons why I believe Pokémon Go grabbed the attention of people worldwide:


As we have seen with recent trends, there’s a yearning for nostalgia amongst many of today’s consumers. For example, many long-cancelled television shows have been rebooted in a remake of the series (new X Files, 24: Live Another Day, Arrested Development, Fuller House and Gilmore Girls). We are seeing unofficial national holidays arising from popular movies (for example, last year’s Back to the Future day). It reminds us of a time when things were simpler – especially in this post 9/11 world, where we worry about our safety and security. Pokémon Go capitalized on this, where fans of the original Pokémon card games can now relive great times by playing this new game.

Using the latest trends and technologies

Pokémon Go was at the forefront of the augmented reality trend and was one of the first times that it found a way into mainstream culture. This hooked a younger audience that didn’t have the nostalgia factor, using cool and trendy new technology. The younger demographic loved seeing and catching Pikachu in their living rooms, down their street and on their block.

Great user experience

Unlike many mobile games, there are no frustrating pop-up ads during Pokémon Go, which makes for an amazing user or player experience. This seamless playing experience resulted in people becoming hooked on the game quickly. And because they’re happy with the game, players would be even more likely to spend a few dollars at the Pokémon Go shop, which extends the experience.


Pokémon Go may appear to be an easy concept – catch them all! – but the more you play, the more you learn strategic ways to improve your game. As the game is so complex, it hooks their players for longer as they find ways to get even better – such as making sure you evolve your Pokémon that have the highest CP (Combat Power), as the CP level carries on to the evolved Pokémon. And the higher the CP, the better you are in Pokémon gym battles. There is an element of challenge here that appeals to players.


Maybe, most importantly, Pokémon Go is fun. I believe this is one of the biggest reasons for its global PR domination – people just can’t stop playing and talking about it. And the media can’t stop covering it!

When you think about the success of Pokémon Go, are there ways that you can help your brand appeal to your target consumer? Not everyone has the opportunity to reach as far as Pokémon Go has, but what are the elements of their success that you can translate to your brand?

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