Pokemon GO’s success in Singapore has yet to be determined due to the app still pending release until today, but with the hype surrounding it, the sight of Singaporean players glued to their phones is inevitable.
The Straits Times reported that there are several firms in Singapore that are hoping to capitalise on the popularity of the game to boost their businesses and attract people to their events.
The three reported companies are book retailer Times Publishing Group, and broadband service providers ViewQwest and MyRepublic. They are planning to utilise “lures”, an in-app purchase which attracts Pokemon to a particular PokeStop for the next 30 minutes.
A lure module costs around USD$1 a pop, roughly translating to SGD$1.34.
Like Green Umbrella mentions in their article on how to lure Pokemon GO players to businesses, a lure is “a bit like wearing a bright fluorescent jacket in the height of summer and all the flies (i.e. Pokemon and the players) are attracted to you”.
Times plans to attract younger Pokemon GO players to its edutainment event held in November at Singapore Expo, while ViewQwest and MyRepublic are using this technique to raise public awareness of their outlets.
Says ViewQwest chief executive Vignesa Moorthy, “People will see your brand, and we hope it is an opportunity to reach out to them.”
Success Of Lures Overseas
Businesses in countries which already have the game have benefitted from the popularity of Pokemon GO – mainly because it’s getting more people out and about to places they’d not visit usually.
For example, a workwear clothing store owner in Scotland has raved about the lures being “the best way [they’ve] managed to jump on the Pokemon GO train”.
The increased attention not only brought them business, but also buzz because of the players who had taken photos and shared them. Having spent around £50 (SGD$89.20) on it so far, he found that the success of this campaign costs “next to nothing compared to [what they spend] on advertising campaigns on social media”.
Another well-known example is L’inizio Pizza Bar in New York, as reported by New York Post. Its manager paid around USD$10 (SGD$14.30) to have a dozen Pokemon lured to the store.
“We had people come down, sit down and get a couple beers and play the Pokémon game.”
It was super effective because their business reportedly got a 75% increase after this relatively small investment.
The Dangers Of Lures
There is of course a dark side to everything, and this in-app purchase can be used by unsavoury individuals to lure gullible victims into their snares.
In fact, New York just enforced a rule to restrict the state’s 3,000 sex offenders on parole from using games like Pokemon GO. Pokemon GO locations near these offenders’ homes have also been requested to be removed.
Said the state’s Governor Andrew Cuomo, “Protecting New York’s children is priority number one and, as technology evolves, we must ensure these advances don’t become new avenues for dangerous predators to prey on new victims.”
In Singapore, there was even a speculation from a…well-publicised forum letter to The Straits Times that the game can actually aid terrorists in their attacks.
How the lures can be abused in Singapore has yet to be seen, but I think that we should cross that metaphorical bridge when we come to it.
Other Ways Businesses Can Hop Onto The Pokemon GO Bandwagon
In the report, an Assistant Professor from the National University of Singapore’s communications and new media department mentions that the lures will only be effective if the new visits can be converted into tangible factors like business.
“It should work if playing Pokemon Go and the desired outcome, such as eating at McDonald’s, are complementary.”
What this means is that instead of just spamming lures at their business, owners also need to be creative in getting the players to interact with their stores – if not, they would just focus on their phone screens (like they have been) anyway.
Some ways businesses can engage players would be through giving discounts or special privileges and tokens to players from particular teams, or even providing free Wifi and charging points with items purchased for players to recharge both their phones and bodies.
I’m personally quite excited to see what interesting campaigns businesses would come up with in light of the (*crosses fingers*) soon impending release of Pokemon GO in Singapore.
To be honest, I might be even more intrigued by those as compared to the game itself!
Feature Image Credit: Capitaland Malls