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Pokémon GO as an Advertising Platform: The Case for Locative Advertising in Location-based Games

Dunham, J., Xu, J., Papangelis, K. , Lalone, N., Saker, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-7414-2840 & Schwartz, D. (2024). Pokémon GO as an Advertising Platform: The Case for Locative Advertising in Location-based Games. Games: Research and Practice, 2(1), article number 6. doi: 10.1145/3641509


Traditional location-based advertising (LBA), such as billboards and signage, has long been a staple of direct-to-consumer advertising. In recent years, however, the prominence and popularity of location-based games have made digital LBA even more appealing. This article draws on an original research project devised to explore a notable gap in the literature on locative media: the impacts of LBA on small businesses in the location-based game Pokémon GO. The project was conducted between August and October 2021, employing semi-structured interviews with 35 businesses leveraging Niantic’s sponsored location LBA. Our findings indicate that (1) participant businesses found location-based game advertising to be rewarding, (2) LGA can act as an amenity offered by the business, and (3) local community is an essential factor for success in location-based game advertising. In sum, this research demonstrates that local businesses could successfully utilize LGBs like Pokémon GO to advertise themselves.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution International 4.0 License. © 2024 Copyright held by the owner/author.
Publisher Keywords: Location-based Games, Pokémon GO, COVID-19, Advertising
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs
School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
SWORD Depositor:
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