Crowd Siren for the WEBBY Award for:
Best Social Community Building and Engagement
"Pokemon Go is the most popular mobile game in history."
- Business Insider
Gotta catch 'em all!
It’s no secret that Pokémon Go quickly became a global phenomenon after its release in early July 2016. Pokémon Go was the top search worldwide in 2016, according to Google .
PokéStops appeared at some of the most iconic locations in Las Vegas. As groups of players began to coalesce around the game at impromptu events, our boutique marketing agency, Crowd Siren, quickly realized that a strategic initiative could be leveraged to build community and engagement for our client, Grand Bazaar Shops which led to reaching 356,000 people over the 4 weeks of Poké Palooza events!
Crowd Siren, an award-winning social media marketing agency, decided to create and develop a social community-building and engagement initiative for one of the most famous intersections in the world for the most famous character in the world, Pikachu.
Our aim as an agency was to ride this phenomenon to mobilize people locally and globally to interact with relevant technology by bringing the virtual game into the physical realm for an engaging community experience for a retail center.
Grand Bazaar Shops is located at the busiest pedestrian intersection in the city, Las Vegas Boulevard (“The Strip") and Flamingo Road, directly in front of Bally’s Las Vegas, across from the Fountains of Bellagio, and surrounded by Flamingo Las Vegas, Paris Las Vegas and Caesars Palace hotels.
Grand Bazaar Shops sees an estimated 22 million visitors per year
With about 70 stores spanning two acres, and a variety of food, dining and bar venues, Grand Bazaar Shops invites travelers and locals to discover its wonderful treasures. Some of its tenants are distinguished by iconic design features, some are the first of their kind in Las Vegas, the U.S. or worldwide, and others are popular well-known brands.
Grand Bazaar Shops is home to the first Las Vegas Wahlburgers, Sin City Brewing Co., Starbucks, Swarovski, Alex and Ani, Swatch, Superdry and LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics.
HOW CAN WE BUILD A COMMUNITY AROUND THIS TREND?
A full-scale approach was outlined that included both traditional and new ways to market these events:
- Four weekly on-site events with music, free temporary tattoos, Pokémon characters and free caricatures
- Online event creation on Facebook, cross-promoted on other social platforms
- Social media advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
- Engaging social media polls on Facebook and Twitter
- Social media content creation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
- Dark social posts by influencers on Facebook
- Activation of Social Media Models, promotional models for the digital age
- Partnerships with local and national brands
- Traditional press release distribution to local media
- Retailer promotions and giveaways
Held during four weeks in Summer 2016, these events drew thousands of people to the shops for a variety of Poké-focused giveaways, games, and interactions.
To connect with the Pokémon Go players in Las Vegas, Crowd Siren used social media to connect with Facebook group admins and fans via influencers. Through those connections, the Crowd Siren team mobilized a variety of Facebook groups to the events. This innovative technique is referred to as "dark social" because the Grand Bazaar Shops Facebook page was not involved in the group-level administration. We know that individuals can sometimes have a larger reach then brand pages alone!
Crowd Siren also launched a series of targeted Facebook and Twitter ad campaigns using Grand Bazaar Shops social media to both locals and tourists within a group-target that included:
- Locals in Las Vegas who like Pokémon Go, Pikachu and mobile games
- Those within a geofence of 2 miles of Grand Bazaar Shops
- Use of hashtags to jump on-trend within Twitter
- Visitors of Las Vegas from around the world staying on the Las Vegas Strip and any Ceasar's Entertainment property
This was the question we wanted to answer! Crowd Siren, along with Grand Bazaar Shops management decided to hold a series of events at the shops at the height of the game's popularity.
SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
As the social media agency for Grand Bazaar Shops, Crowd Siren was responsible for creating consistent posts to garner interest for the four events and to use social media as the primary tool for attracting community members to the Las Vegas Strip. The following are some examples of the content created for the business page.
No other Las Vegas casinos or resorts were using this trend as an opportunity to engage local fans and international visitors, so Crowd Siren jumped on the opportunity before any others. The result: the most innovative game played with others on one of the busiest intersections in the world!
This new wave of marketing tasks individuals with promoting a brand's products and events. We mobilized micro-influencers who would join private Facebook groups and post authentically about the event to specific, targeted groups.
Traditional event hosts are purely one-dimensional. Social Media Models are marketing models who update social media in real time for brands, extending their reach during live events. Our team of models hosted the event online, creating a physical and digital community built in real-time.
For each social media check-in presented to the Social Media Models, participants received a free $5 Starbucks gift card.
We secured participation from local and national retailers during the weekly events and even used in-game lures to attract to attract more Pokémon to the property for players to have more interaction.
Trainers who presented their Pokédex at the following retailers received discounts and special offers during the event:
Starbucks – Buy one drink, get one drink free (same size and drink)
Waffle Bar – 50 percent off your purchase
JoJo’s Jerky – Free phone charging while guests shop and a chance to win an external phone battery
Alex and Ani – $5 off Bangle of the Month and $3 off Charm of the Month (while supplies last)
I Got Married in Vegas… Just Kidding! – $5 off any experience with proof of Pokémon. $25 Pokémon and Team pictures offered day of the event. $5 off can be applied to Pokémon and Team pictures
Jimmy’s Seaside Fries – Buy one menu item get the second 50 percent off
Bauer’s Sunglass – 20 percent off guest’s total purchase
Fancy Feet – 10 percent of all purchases $20 or more
Tokyo Nail Art Bar – 20 percent off Pokémon pre-design nails
RED Convenience Store – 25 percent off one item excluding tobacco products
Las Vegas Magic Shops – Photograph a Pokémon in Las Vegas Magic Shops’ petite allee and show the photo at the store to receive a free magic trick. While supplies last.
Rock Cinema – 20 percent off
Vegas Shades – 50 percent off
Eye-Tech – 15 percent off
I Love Popcorn – 50 percent off
I Love Hot Dogs – 50 percent off
I Love Candy – 50 percent off
Sunset Case – 20 percent off entire purchase
Pascanoush Gifts – 50 percent off. Some exclusions apply
TAGS Evolution – 50 percent off
Tix4Tonight – Receive two free service fees (up to $16 off). May not be combined with other offers.
SOCIAL MEDIA MODELS
IRL, the Grand Bazaar Shops connected and engaged with new communities with visits from Pokémon characters, live interactions and temporary tattoos, Social Media Models and social media photo opportunities and exclusive offers and giveaways. National brands such as Starbucks and Alex and Ani participated by providing prizes in exchange for check-ins at Grand Bazaar Shops on social media.
This series of events created a community with the players and built new engagement connection with the retail shops.
+ 5% increase in foot traffic on days of the event above normal business days
+ 625% increase in Facebook check-ins during the events above normal business days
+ 28% increase in social media Engagement above Facebook, Instagram & Twitter