The video game industry has been growing at an incredible rate. Just in 2017, it has grossed over $100 billion, and it is predicted to increase its annual revenue by an additional 13 percent in 2018. This immense rise is accountable to one rather common-sense factor.
Simply, it’s about the number of users who have access to video games. The market is expanding since more and more people can afford an internet connection and all sorts of devices and gadgets that can be used for playing video games. Experts anticipate that there will be 2.3 billion gamers worldwide by the end of 2018.
Therefore, a huge growth of mobile usage has led to a huge growth in mobile gaming – mobile games are responsible for more than 50 percent of the overall gaming industry revenue, with this number set to rise even further. The ingenious concept of freemium games and in-app purchases have attracted massive amounts of new users and easy money into the industry.
One of the best examples of how to do this right is Pokemon Go. We’ll be looking into the design of a great promotional video for this remarkably popular mobile game. But first, let’s briefly consider what the Pokemon franchise and the game itself are about.
Pokemon represents a brand that goes way beyond mere mobile gaming. As a matter of fact, it’s the highest-earning media franchise in the world, beating giants like Star Wars or Harry Potter to take the top spot.
Pokemon are everywhere – they come in form of books, games, anime series, film series, music, manga comics, toys and much more. They are extremely well-recognizable across various generations, and it’s no wonder that the promotional video uses screens with the most prominent of the characters in order to draw some additional attention.
As for the game itself, unsurprisingly, it also relies on some of the most recognizable elements of the franchise. However, one characteristic of the game that has most probably made it a worldwide hit is the clever use of the concept of augmented reality (AR).
What’s so attractive about augmented reality is that it lies somewhere between computer simulation, imagination and reality itself. Unlike traditional video games that users play using their TV or PC screens, AR ensures that the limits between reality and simulation are blurred and makes us feel like the game is happening in our actual real-world environment.
The hype about Pokemon Go may not be as extraordinary as it used to be, but the game is still huge to this day. Namely, it’s still among the top-grossing mobile games worldwide as of October 2018, just behind Candy Crush Saga and Fortnite. It’s a game that provides a great example of how to attract colossal amounts of players by making their favorite characters be a part of their world and offering a way to interact with them in numerous ways.
As of May 2018, the game has been downloaded 800 million times and has earned almost 2 billion dollars for their creators. This video summarizes very well what this game is about and why it’s become so successful.
The video provides a great visual experience and tries to send multiple messages in order to establish a new brand within the old one, as well as deal with some common preconceptions related to gaming.
Let’s first discuss its very visual identity.
The Pokemon Go launch video shows off the excitement that made the game so incredibly popular. The camera follows three young Pokemon trainers throughout their individual journeys on a bicycle and on foot. The music is upbeat and continues to build until we reach the final moment when the trainers we followed are all together participating in a gym battle.
Close-up shots of smartphones and the game’s many aspects fill in the space between wide angle shots of trainers jogging or riding their bikes. Alternating between such varying shots makes the video feel even faster and more exciting.
Obviously, the main intent of the video is to portray the thrill of this immensely popular game. However, that’s not the only element of the video that’s supposed to attract the potential players. It’s no accident that the majority of the people in the video are involved in some sort of physical activity or are depicted as living a fulfilled and busy life.
This is due to at least two reasons. Namely, there are two preconceptions about the brand, the gamers and the game itself that are meant to be turned upside-down this way.
It’s no secret that gamers are usually illustrated as physically unfit and not really eager to spend time outside their homes, to say the least. The concept of the Pokemon Go game and the video in question intends to distort and change this common depiction.
The fact that you actually have to go outside to play the game and that you have to walk around to find Pokemon contributes to a new and different idea of gaming. That’s why the players in the video are fit, cheerful, lively and doing different kinds of physical activity.
The view of gamers as disinterested and closed-minded is also revised. Pokemon Go tries to change the very focus of traditional gaming by basically forcing the players to go out and explore the world.
This is exactly why people in the video are presented at multiple locations, doing all the different things that are not usually associated with gaming. They’re not just running or biking, but also taking a stroll on the beach or simply walking home after classes.
Moreover, video games are seen as highly addictive. Especially mobile freemium games that offer their users all kinds of continual instant gratification.
And as a matter of fact, Pokemon Go can indeed be highly addictive. Therefore, the authors of the video are most probably trying to soften the critics by representing the players as every day, well-adjusted people with interests that go far beyond playing the game.
Basically, by employing smart video design, Pokemon Go tries to appeal to a wider audience than the one that usually watches the Pokemon anime or plays games in general.
This video is an attempt to present their users as atypical gamers. It also sends a message about Pokemon Go that’s supposed to intrigue those who would not normally jump on a bandwagon of a super-popular mobile game.
All of the actors in this video are young adults or teenagers. The fact that there are no children in the video playing the game is a way to oppose another prejudice.
Seeing what the game looks like, an everyday person would probably say that it’s designed for kids. Training a bunch of pocket monsters to fight each other may not sound like the most mature thing to do at first glance.
But the creators of the video know that the generation of young adults, born 20-30 years ago, are exactly those people that grew up watching the anime and being surrounded by Pokemon in all forms and shapes.
Now that they grew a bit older, they may feel as if they’re too old to play such a game. In other words, they may feel as if they grew out of being its target market.
However, The Pokemon Company knows that appealing to nostalgia is a great way to attract new users and consumers. And if they manage to convince this generation of young adults that it’s perfectly fine for them to play the game, that could expand their market to an enormous extent. There’s no need to mention that this is exactly what happened.
We can see that these people are not depicted as childish or immature – they’re normal young adults, living an active life, and engaged in a lot of other activities typical for people their age.
Basically, the message that this video commercial sends is that this game is not just for kids, it’s for everyone who has ever enjoyed the Pokemon world and felt like a part of it.
All in all, this Pokemon Go video is a great example of how a promotional video can successfully serve a twofold purpose.
Firstly, when it comes to its very design and content, it’s quick, dynamic and exciting, trying to appeal to our senses. We’ve been seeing this a lot with all kinds of ads for mobile games.
It’s no surprise in the era we live in, really. These videos are supposed to draw our attention immediately, before we decide to close the tab or scroll on to the next post.
Secondly, this video conveys a message. It deals with prejudices about gaming and about the Pokemon brand by focusing on a certain demography that you wouldn’t expect to be the main target of this game.
Surely, the message conveyed is important in itself, especially given that the call for stepping outside of your home and performing at least some physical activity is a very valuable one.
In addition, the message that is sent out represents a great piece of marketing. It should convince those who think that the game is for kids or no-lifers to give it a try anyway. In this process, they especially appeal to those that have certain nostalgic feelings for some other products of this franchise.
The hype associated with Pokemon Go may not be as immense as a couple of years ago, but this video is a perfect testimony to why it still is one of the most successful mobile games ever created.
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