Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Who is the Winner? Pokémon Go or Harry Potter!!!

For Illustrative Purpose Only
THE last month has been an eventful one for nostalgia fuelled phenomenon. We have had Pokémon Go which launched on August 6th. If you have internet then you must have heard of Pokémon Go. It was all across the social media and news websites not to mention being extensively covered by TV media as well. The second big event was the launch of the new Harry Potter book ‘Harry Potter and the cursed Child’.  It’s actually the script of the Broadway play which was released in book form.

There are striking similarities along many lines. Both Pokémon Go and Harry potter come with a devoted fan base. Pokémon was a part of the videogame culture of the 90th and the TV series was also well received. The spinoffs into trump cards were also very successful. The franchise had a healthy dose of nostalgia associated with it. The game was well designed and very well received. To say it was a success was an understatement.

On the other hand Harry Potter books are hailed as the single biggest factor in the revival of book reading among the younger generation.  At a time when cartoons and TV series were at its peak and children were glued to cable TV and internet screes and Gameboys. The book series was exceptionally successful in cultivating and nurturing a loyal fan base. The series had seven books published over ten years from 1997 to 2007 and its conclusion was an epic event. They were subsequently converted into movies and these were very successful as well.

Let us go into some news bites. For the launch of the Harry Potter and the cursed child, there were midnight release countdowns. Bookstores and the publisher held midnight release parties. Customers came in droves and lines stretched around the block for getting your hands on a copy. More than two Million copies were sold worldwide. For the Broadway play, the tickets are sold out for the next few months. Tickets for the play are being resold for close to a thousand pounds online.

Pokémon Go on the other hand did not do a lot of publicity or spent much in marketing. The game was released like any other app gets listed with just some press briefs and small events. But the buzz online was phenomenal. The game topped the charts and broke the record for the most downloaded app. The engagement of the players and time spent on the game was phenomenal.

A definite trend began to emerge. The hoopla and sales of the book tapered quite considerably a month post release. Pokémon Go on the other hand continues to go strong. This is an excellent example of how the way we engage with the world and those around us has changed with technology. The ubiquitous smart phone was never a part of our lives before and this crucial difference is the key of Pokémon Go’s success. By making something that was engaging and fun accessible in the palm of your hand, Pokémon Go has been able to be a continuing part of the player’s life at every instant. Potter on the other hand is a book and once the reading is over, the engagement ceases.

There is a lesson here. You may bank on nostalgia and brand equity of the franchise for getting you off the starting block. But to be truly engaged, any franchise will need to be delivered in format that leverages the single biggest competition to the attention span of the consumer, the smart phone.

At its core, the Potter book is a mystery. A search for the culprit and the unveiling of a mystery is the core. Pokémon on the other hand uses one of the most base instincts of the human mind, that of a hunter gatherer to create a thrill of a hunt by following clues. 

This engaging mix of mystery and an epic hunt that requires decoding of clues forms a crucial part of the upcoming book “The Indus Challenge”. In the ancient land of India during the times of Alexander and Chandragupta Maurya, an ancient seal is uncovered. And thus starts the epic hunt for unveiling the mystery so powerful that it can change the shape of the world. To join this epic hunt from the icy heights of Mount Kailash to the silent seas of Rameshwar, you need to grab a copy soon. “The Indus Challenge” releasing soon!!

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