digital marketing

Pokémon Go : a new social phenomenon

‘A man dies in a car crash trying to catch Pikachu’, or people going into other people’s homes and gardens to catch some rare pokemon specie, or even people quitting their job to become pokemon trainers. This augmented reality mobile application forced all the couch potatoes to go outside and take a walk in their neighborhood. Personally, I don’t know if this should be described as funny or just sad. But one thing is sure: it is a successful digital madness! 2 weeks after its launch, Pokemon Go captured more than 20 million active users, composed of children and adults.
Before that phenomenon exploded, people crossed the road while texting. Today, they do it while looking for Charmander. This madness touches everyone: businesses, agencies and individuals. There is even a term that was born from this : Pokéconomy. Businesses are trying to find Lure Models such as promotions or events, to monetize this phenomenon.
This is a very interesting spectacle to look at and analyze. However, sometimes we cannot really bypass or explain a trend with rational arguments. People either love it or hate it. Here at Visionary Marketing, we have very different views about Pokémon Go. Some try to catch them all while at work, and other think it’s a complete waste of time. So, we decided to share with you our personal opinion about this phenomenon.
But before we get to that, let me just to give you a quick overview of the numbers:

Daily average time spent on
How much time do you spend on these mobile applications ? Source:


Cédric Jeanblanc

'''Everybody was involved in the Pokémon Go phenomenon, whether they liked it or not. I am surprised by the amount of negative criticism this game received. Below, you will find the three main reasons why I believe one should download the game and test it, rather than just judge the geeks on the streets with their phones and their red and white caps.
It is a positive trend, unlike the fire challenge for example. Pokémon Go is not a dangerous game. The unfortunate stories we heard happened because of the player’s unconsciousness and not the game itself.
It encourages people to go out. Digital was said to reduce human contact and to isolate people. With this game, people organise get togethers and meet each other.
It is a classic. We get that same feeling we had a few years back, when turning on our gameboys. We get the same elements : that adventure feeling, unlimited game life, the satisfaction of seeing our little monsters evolve. Creating a game that is actually an update of the classic version, while keeping all the main elements is a challenge that Pokémon Go accomplished. ''

Claire Sorel

'''Pokémon Go is a real social phenomenon built around a childhood game. I think it is a revolutionary idea. The nostalgia pushed me to download the Pokémon Go application to relive the adventure.
I like Pokémon Go for the following reasons:
It encourages people to discover a new culture, to discover a real and a virtual workd. I personally walk on streets I never walked on before, and discvoer new places.
It is a sort of new physical activity. I think it is good for the players’ health because it pushes them to walk and meet other people.
Pokémon Go creates links between people. It creates a community around the game.However, I also thinkg this game can be dangerous. That is why some of the gatherings were cancelled.
Also, it caused some unfortunate events. People put their lives as well as other’s in danger. The most extreme action in my opinion, is quitting a job to become a full time Pokemon trainer. ''

Mia Tawilé

Talking about Pokémon brings back so many childhood memories. However, not playin on a gameboy makes it lose all its charm.
You might say that my opinion is close to the game theory, but it’s not quite it. Personally, I believe that everything we do is watched closely and analyzed. Facebook algorithms are the biggest proof. Another example: Snapchat. The mobile application will start pushing product ads based on the elements recognized in the photos users send.
Pokémon Go is an ingenious way of collecting massive amount of data in real time.
While you walk around trying to catch them all, someone at the other side of the planet is observing your every move. That’s a perfect opportunity. They can get access to real time image and sound information of the places satellites cannot reach. I was not really surprise when I read that Putin banned the augmented reality game in Russia.
On the bright side, it is good that people go out and have fun. But, we mostly read about car crashes or accidents caused by this game. I am not being negative, just realistic. When I first read that a man caused a huge car crash because he was trying to catch Pikachu, I laughed and thought it was a spam. But no, it was sadly true.
The other day, a co-worker told me how he stopped in the middle of the road to catch Bulbasaur before realizing he was not on the sidewalk.
Some argue that it is a good way of discovering new places. No, it’s not. People are too busy finding Pikachu or Abra. They are not looking at the architecture of the buildings surrounding them, they are not looking at some statue, or fountain or historic edifice. They are following cute monsters. ''

Yann Gourvennec
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Yann Gourvennec

Yann Gourvennec created in 1996. He is a speaker and author of 6 books. In 2014 he went from intrapreneur to entrepreneur, when he created his digital marketing agency. ———————————————————— Yann Gourvennec a créé en 1996. Il est conférencier et auteur de 6 livres. En 2014, il est passé d'intrapreneur à entrepreneur en créant son agence de marketing numérique. More »

One Comment

  1. Thank you Mia for this interesting analysis.
    Different views but yet, very alike.
    I wonder what Yann thinks and if he turnt into a Pokemon trainer.
    It would be interesting to know how CEOs react to this phenomenon, not in terms of business because we can already see various ways of making business by using Pokemon GO, but just in the daily life. Do they download the app? Do they play? Do they find it rational?

  2. Thank you Sebastien for your comment. Well, at the office, we are divided into 2 teams : we have 2 pokemon trainers and then there’s Yann and I who are still against it. Well, Yann is nonetheless curious to test it. (I personally am not at all. Unless someone gives me a gameboy to play the traditional way !)
    Have a great summer !
    And since you write great articles too, you can submit your contribution.. that would be cool.


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