Speculation abounds as to why Pokémon Go is so hot right now, but nobody can deny its popularity.
There may be many reasons behind why so many people have hit the streets to hunt for Pokémon, but I believe that propinquity may be one of them.
As I have mentioned in a previous post and in a recent journal article in Media International Australia propinquity in a digital context is all about blending online (usually social media) and offline environments so that stakeholders can move in between them relatively seamlessly. As the stakeholder moves between the blended environments their relationship with the organisation facilitating the movement (in this case Pokémon) is strengthened as a result.This movement between digital and offline environments can be referred to as a propinquital loop.
This blending of environments is definitely not a new phenomenon but game apps such as Pokémon Go and viral campaigns like the ALS Ice-Bucket Challenge have really thrust the practice into the mainstream and people are embracing it with open arms (and wallets).
With theories aside, why is blending digital and offline spaces a good thing for marketers and public relations professionals?
- It keeps stakeholders constantly connected to and/or engaged with an organisation and/or brand so that it remains top of mind, and
- This continual contact can help to strengthen both new and existing relationships if the interactions are positive.
However, it is up to public relations and marketing professionals to provide valid, interesting and valuable content (and incentives) that motivate and drive stakeholder activity between environments.
Right now Pokémon Go is doing that, but how long can it sustain its novelty and maintain player interest?
At what point will Pokémon Go become Pokémon No? What do you think?