Pokémon ends 2014 on a high

Consumer products programme ramps up following record demand for new games.
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Global entertainment gaming brand Pokémon is ramping up for continued success following the launch of the new video games Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire at retail. Their release will be followed by a comprehensive consumer product roll out across 2015.

With huge demand and record sales of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, interest in the global gaming brand is at an all-time high. The video games shipped 7.7 million units worldwide since they launched in Japan, the United States and Europe late last month— the first week’s European sales figures were 35 per cent over those of Pokémon X and Pokémon Y. Both games have been supported by a high-profile, pan-European marketing campaign including widespread TV advertising, themed in-store activities and an innovative, highly interactive social media push.

In the UK, the launch was kicked off with an appearance at the UK MCM Comic Con, followed by a major activation with GAME stores across the country which saw consumers take part in an 'Eon Ticket Relay'. The relay started at the GAME store in Stratford on Saturday November 29th, with the accompanying hashtag #EonTicketUK.

The campaign was a huge success for consumer engagement, securing a Twitter reach of 5.3 million, with the hashtag travelling as far afield as Japan and the US. The event was complemented by a press showcase event at the Ham Yard Hotel on Sunday November 30th, where invited guests got the chance to play Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, enjoy an exclusive UK screening of Pokémon the Movie: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction and play the latest expansion of the Pokémon Trading Card Game.

In France, a movie screening, a signing with the game creators and a press conference saw fans turning out to engage with the brand. The launch received press coverage in key French media outlets across print and broadcast. Germany also enjoyed a major marketing and PR campaign at launch and ran a huge pre-awareness campaign to distribute a special demo version of the game at 1000+ McDonald’s restaurants across the territory.

Meanwhile in Italy, Pokémon creators attended a very special consumer event in Milan attended by over 300 people, generating significant coverage in the national media, including La Stampa and Corriere della Sera.

And consumer engagement was also high in Spain, where a consumer event in November saw Pokémon take over the Salon de Manga in Barcelona, the largest anime event in the country.

The new Pokémon video games Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire follow on from the huge success of last year’s Pokémon X and Pokémon Y Nintendo video games, which have sold over 13 million copies globally.

The success of Pokémon X and Pokémon Y has also had a positive impact on Pokémon Trading Card Game sales, with the range enjoying an impressive 50 per cent increase in sales this year in the UK.

“Thanks to the phenomenal success of the Pokémon X and Pokémon Y range, there is huge interest in the Pokémon brand,” says Anthony Cornish, marketing director at The Pokémon Company International. “We have built on this swell of consumer interest and engagement with an innovative marketing campaign for Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire which has been extremely ambitious in its nature and scale. It has given us a fantastic springboard for our consumer product roll out in the New Year.”

The expansion of the European licensing programme follows a period of growth for the Pokémon brand globally. The renewed strength of interest in Pokémon has been cemented by the recent signing of ten new European licenses across a variety of categories including apparel, back-to-school supplies, footwear, food and drink, confectionery and video game accessories. They complement the existing licensees, including master toy partner Tomy, Sun City for apparel and accessories, CTI for bedding and CyP for back-to-school products.

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