An estimated 1.9 million Brits conducted an online search for Pokémon last week, according to an exclusive analysis conducted by Hitwise, a division of Connexity. That’s when the Pokémon Go mobile app went live in the UK. Searches for ‘Pokémon’ were highest on Thursday 14 July when they accounted for one in every 56 online searches conducted in the UK. In fact, ‘Pokémon Go’ was the 10th most common search variation in the country on Thursday, ranking just behind ‘Argos’ and just ahead of ‘Daily Mail’.
Since the Pokémon Go game is light on instructions, users have to more or less figure it out for themselves. The result is that many players turn to their search browsers for help. In fact, the most common variation of Pokémon-related searches conducted last week was for ‘how to’. Many other searches began with ‘do you’ or ‘do I’.
With reports of Pokémon players swarming—and spending money in—businesses located near a ‘PokéStop’ or a ‘gym’, some business are already considering tactics or even formal sponsorships to lure players to their stores in an attempt to cash in on the craze. (McDonald’s is rumored to be among the first to have formal sponsored locations in the game.) Before businesses make that decision, however, they need to understand if their customer base is among those playing the game. Using our AudienceView platform, we were able to quickly identify the demographics of Pokémon fans as well as some places of business where they’re likely to be found in high concentrations.
For starters, 57% of adult Pokémon players, known as ‘trainers’ in the game, are between the ages of 18 and 34. Another 16% are ages 35 to 44 and likely include a mix of those playing for their own enjoyment and those playing along with their kids. Those ages 18 to 24, specifically, were more than twice as likely to have played Pokémon last week. The majority of players (59%) may be male, but that still leaves over 745,000 female trainers who would be receptive to Pokémon messaging. With such a young-skewing audience, it’s no surprise that Pokémon players are more likely to fall in the lower end of the income range. Specifically, Pokémon players are 1.3 times more likely to live in households earning less than £15,000 annually. But lower income doesn’t necessarily translate into lack of spending as many of these players are likely to be students and receiving financial support from mum and dad.
Retail brands like Converse, Lush and Topman may have the best opportunity to engage shoppers through Pokémon Go, since they’re among the retail brands with the highest concentration of Pokémon players, according to our analysis in AudienceView. If McDonald’s does go ahead and become a Pokémon Go sponsor, it wouldn’t be a poor decision. In fact, our data reveals that players are 29% more likely than average to be McDonald’s customers. Other restaurants for which a Pokémon partnership may make a good bet include: Five Guys, Subway, virtually any pizza restaurant as well as Starbucks.
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