Pokémon was rolling out a new “on the go” experience app called Pokémon GO, and they wanted to design a memorable experience to help generate brand awareness and excitement surrounding the new app.
We helped create an experience in New York City that turned into one of the most talked about events that day, globally. We worked with Pokémon to coordinate an “on the go” experience that involved 20 full-sized Pikachu characters in costume, walking around the streets of NYC, attracting attention and generating brand awareness and interest.
Having Pokémon out and about in the city aligned perfectly with the concept of Pokémon GO, an app that encourages people to get off the couch, get outside, exercise and breathe fresh air. The mission behind this project was to energize and activate people.
We identified many places we wanted Pikachu to visit throughout the day. We knew we had to be in the right places throughout the city to make the strongest impact. We identified the locations we felt were essential for Pikachu to visit, including Times Square, the Brooklyn Bridge, New York Public Library and Penn Square. We hired professional choreographers to design walking routines and flash mob dances. They worked nonstop for two weeks to prepare. We coordinated transportation and hotel rooms all over the city to ensure no Pikachu was seen out of costume.
The journey began at the Brooklyn Bridge and they marched on from there – people all over town were talking about the life-sized Pikachu characters walking around the city. The experience got people off their couches and onto the streets so they could see the Pikachus with their own eyes.
Every single aspect of the day was methodically planned and executed, and the results were beyond anything we could’ve imagined.
The Pokémon GO brand activation experience was an enormous success.
The city of New York dedicated their entire Snapchat stories to Pokémon’s experience. The event was 19 of the top 20 trending topics on Facebook that day – globally. Thousands of people took pictures and videos. People posted about the event online, causing even more people to get out on the streets to see the Pikachu parade for themselves. It was an unbelievable logistical feat. But, we were able to pull off an experience that became a global trending topic online and set up Pokémon for success with the launch of their new Pokémon GO app.