Pokémon Go Becoming A Local Marketing Tool

Pokémon Go is a whole new playing field for Pokémon Trainers and Personal Trainers alike.

With such a big craze putting players on their feet and across the city, local businesses have been quick to make the best of this traffic. New York Sports Club, Big Daddy’s Diner in Gramercy, and even Baruch College are just some of the locations using Pokémon as a means of marketing.

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Big Daddy’s Diner in Gramercy advertising the Pokéball Shake in their front window.

“Parents tell their kids to catch a pokémon to get 15% off the bill,” says Eric, the manager at Big Daddy’s Diner. It offers discounts and specially prepared shakes in light of the Pokémon Go hype. Though the diner’s business hasn’t noticeably changed, he’s seen the Pokéball Shake bring in around 100 people since it was added.

But the shake has also gotten in the way of business, at times. The idea came from the diner’s director of marketing and was intricately designed by the chef, which can be a problem when it comes to preparing the shake during busy hours.

“It can create a lot of work,” Eric says, but explains that the hassle is worth the publicity. “It’s a two-way street,”

The same applies at Baruch when it comes to Pokémon Go. “I’m always thinking of way to get students’ attention,” says Mazi, the College Now Director. Baruch uses social media and its own Pokémon sightings to drive traffic online and get more students to follow their college activity. It’s a way of drawing attention to sites where students might not otherwise care to look.

But of course, it means more than just getting the word out for the staff at Baruch. As Evelis, Baruch’s college assistant, will tell you a majority of the office is playing Pokémon Go on their own time. (And hey, it’s hard not to!)

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New York Sports Club’s Pokémon sign at 23rd and Lexington, shortly before it was taken down.

However,  limitations prevent big name corporations from marketing with Pokémon Go. A consultant at New York Sports Club on 23rd Street created a Pokéstop in the gym, as many businesses do to attract attention. A sign was put outside, though the manager explains how she was forced to take it down just 20 minutes later.

Corporations like New York Sports Club actually require permission from higher authorities before putting out complimentary offers, and apparently pokémon falls into that category. But even during this brief time, pokémon brought in customers who wouldn’t have otherwise come. I was one of the few who wandered in during this short time frame.

The manager explains the attention this brings to the gym. “Maybe it’s just curiosity” she suggests. They’ll wander in for pokémon, but leave knowing a new place they can visit in the future.



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