Out-of-Home just went to Level 30: Venusaur, Charizard, Blastoise and Pikachu! You gotta catch-em all!


It started as an April Fool’s Day joke, but since its launch on 5 July, Pokémon Go has been installed more than 75 million times worldwide, breaking all previous app download records. To put that into context, it took the internet 4 years to reach 50 million users. And what’s more, it has been monetised; earning Nintendo US $35 million in net revenue.

The entire premise of Pokémon Go requires the user to “get your shoes on, step outside and explore the world” – which seems like old-school human activity, rather than something we have grown to expect from high-tech mobile apps. This has certainly piqued our interest.

We have been exploring this concept of technology working on a more human scale backed by research and logic informing our thinking that Out-of-Home (OOH) and mobile are the perfect bedfellows. We know that by aligning with mobile and digital technologies, OOH is able to connect advertisers with their audience anywhere, anytime, with location being the crucial element.

We also know that when people are out and about, they are more receptive to advertising. Receptivity, a state of mind that exists before exposure to an ad, has an array of influencers that affect how open consumers are to advertising, and studies show that consumers are most receptive on mobile devices, when they are outside the home.

The Pokémon Go sensation has also demonstrated how you can use creativity to engage. Technology has added two new values to supercharge OOH – flexibility and immediacy. These new values, coupled with The ‘internet of things’, has made all OOH formats come alive, changing the focus from the age old formula of image, copy and logo, to one that offers a plethora of creative ways brands can immerse their audiences in a product or service, and connect people to stories and experiences.

Augmented reality in OOH is not a new concept. Pepsi Max ‘Unbelievable’ and Roadshow Films ‘Into the Storm’ are recent examples of AR in the OOH space. Ambarish Mitra, CEO of augmented reality developer Blippar said, “Everybody said AR couldn’t be a success unless VR headsets or Google Glass took off, but Nintendo and Niantic have disproved that theory by making the most out of the 8 billion people who own a mobile phone with a camera.”

It’s been extraordinary watching this phenomenon because unlike most mobile games, Pokémon Go has another important potential revenue stream – data. This is something that big brands, like McDonalds, are taking advantage of, as they find ways to get a slice of the Pokémon Go pie. And as things really start to heat up, OOH will be primed and ready to ‘catch-em all’.