Pokemon has released a new mobile app which rewards players for visiting designated Target stores across the US.
Players of Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee and Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu on the Nintendo Switch can download the new Pokemon Pass app on iOS and Android devices for free.
Once downloaded players can head to a Target store between May 11th and June 23rd, follow the prompts in the app and eventually scan a QR code which will allow them to redeem their rewards, a “shiny” in-game character to use in Pokemon: Let’s Go.
“If you’re an account owner and enter a participating Target store, Pokémon Pass will use geolocation to automatically notify you of nearby reward offerings,” Pokemon’s website reads.
“The app will then guide you through several prompts, including one to scan a special QR Code found in-store, so you can claim your Shiny Pikachu or Shiny Eevee.”
The partnership between Target and Pokemon is the latest effort by the retail industry to utilise augmented reality (AR) and geolocation to attempt to drive footfall to their stores, influencing real world behaviour using virtual prompts.
It follows the runaway success of Pokemon Go in 2016, the first game to successfully utilise AR encouraging users to explore their surroundings in the real world to find virtual characters from the game.
Retailers soon took note of its popularity and began advertising on social media that certain Pokemon were available in store, encouraging gamers into shops with hopes the growth in footfall would translate to sales.
Pokemon pass is also partnering with 7-Eleven for an AR tie-in, and the brand has released exclusive trading cards only available at Target, Walmart and GameStop stores.