Pokémon GO heated up winter in Syndey’s Bondi Beach

Niantic’s Pokémon GO! has reached almost every nook and cranny of the globe. A game targeted for 10-year-old kids has reached the hearts of 90’s kids(who aren’t kids anymore) who grew up playing Pokémon on their Gameboys or watching the cartoon on TV. This article isn’t one that will make fun of adults looking stupid while playing the game in public or one that talks about how it has managed to “control” millions of people. This article will cover how a game like this has had a very real, and positive effect on the countries it’s been released in.

Pokémon GO is currently available in only 37 countries of which Australia is one.


What are the positive outcomes of Pokémon GO for Australia?


I will use an example to explain. I’m a crew member at the McDonald’s at Bondi Beach. Bondi beach is Sydney’s most beautiful, and certainly the most visited beach. During the summer the store goes crazy with nearly 25-35 crew members working throughout its hours of operation however during Winter (or in terms of temperature – British summer) the story is quite different. Let me quote a senior crew member.

“During the winter there’s barely any business. Quite often the pigeons on Bondi beach are our best customers. We usually have 1 manager and a couple of crew members running the entire store. This has been the case in the past 3 years I’ve worked at the store.”

As winter approached the trend towards minimal business seemed to come and quite often crew didn’t get as many shifts as they used to in the summer-spring time. I quite distinctly remember going to the store with a couple of my friends around mid-June following the end of our exams and this was the case! We were almost the only customers at the store at that time. Whilst the individual attention given to the customer was pleasant, bad business was not good news to either the owners or the employees. However, today the store gets quite busy. Sometimes we don’t have sufficient crew working to keep up with the demand. The number of customers we are having smack in the middle of winter is an anomaly! The reason: Pokémon GO! How? Let’s just say that Bondi beach is a Pokémon trainer jackpot.


A Hypothetical Scenario


Whilst Bondi beach maybe considered a niche, there are reports from across Australia claiming that Pokémon Go has been an effective marketing tool in attracting a number of customers. How can that happen? Well let’s draw up a hypothetical. Assume I run a coffee shop in Sydney and coincidentally my store happens to be a pokestop. A “lure” costs me about $1 per 30 minutes. I can drop this “lure” which will lure different Pokémon near my store. Along with these invisible Pokémon come a bunch of Pokémon trainers who’re hoping to catch these wild beasts. These young trainers will then consider having a cup of coffee at my store. That is how Pokémon GO can be used as a marketing tool.

Whilst I simply drew up a hypothetical scenario, there are rumors flying around that corporations with retail outlets are having discussions with Niantic in making their stores a pokestop. If multi billion dollar corporations are making business decisions based on this game, that is when you know exactly how effective this tool can be.

Expanding this over the entire country (or perhaps even globe), increased local business means more jobs. More jobs mean more money in the citizen’s pocket. Can a game become a key component in shaping the economy? Find out on our follow-up article next week!

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