Pokémon Go ‘News’ Stories Proving There’s No Such Thing as Bad Press…?
“Major highway accident after man stops to catch Pikachu!”
“Teen kills younger brother because he thought he deleted his Pokémon”
“Man sues Pokémon Go Company for 500 million after being hit by a car”
“Cheating boyfriend caught out by Pokémon Go tracking to his ex-girlfriend’s house”
“Man quits job to become a professional Pokémon Go trainer”
Just some of the stories that have been flying around social media over the past couple weeks – well before the Pokémon Go app was even available to download in the UK. It was actually via these news stories that many of us found out about the new augmented reality game as we waited patiently for the UK launch.
Start to dig a little deeper and you find that many, if not all of these tragic and outrageous stories are in fact hoaxes, much like the influx of hoax news stories and PR stunts we look out for on April Fools’ Day. It’s difficult to track where the stories originated from, and there’s no indication so far that they’ve been fed to satirical blogs and websites by The Pokémon Company, but what a brilliantly ballsy move that would have been.
These stories, mostly coming out of the US and Australia certainly didn’t have any negative affect on downloads in the UK. Once server issues were fixed, the announcement of the UK launch gained 21,600 interactions on twitter and the app has already broken both download and daily user records.
We’ve been trialling Pokémon Go over the past few days (for research purposes… not at all because we’re awesome Pokémon trainers and Gotta Catch Em All…), and although the game itself needs some improvements, it’s the augmented reality, treasure hunt element that we’re really impressed by. Thanks to Pokéstops (where you collect various items), we’re spotting interesting landmarks and secret icons dotted around London that we’ve passed hundreds of times before and never noticed. Such as the Jubilee Owl sitting secretly inside Canning Town station or the Cherub above the entrance to Waterloo station.
Pokémon Go is currently sponsored by McDonalds in the US and will soon start to allow firms in the UK to pay for a Pokéstop or Gym (where you train to battle), but there are many other opportunities for businesses to jump on the Pokéwagon. From posting pictures of staff posing with Pokémon nearby, to mapping out Pokémon trails surrounding your businesses, it’s a unique opportunity to increase footfall via social media.
By Yasmine Triana