Pokémon and the success of synergy
Pokémon was a success because it was a universe itself, a culture. It was something you did, not just something you played. Pokémon was designedspecifically for this target market 8-14years old, and giving them want they wanted.
What kids wanted
Pokémon perfectly identified the needs of young children. Children, first of all, want to play. Butapart from that, children want to collect things, to train, to nurture and to feel approved by the rest. From this point of view, Pokémon universe had all the ingredients to be a whole success andinvolve the immature children’s brain.
The success in Japan
Pokémon was successful in Japan because the product was excellent and the universe consisted of complimentary products which were endless.The addictive mix of training, defeating, becoming a master and the fact that there were always new challenges made it extremely addictive, and not just for kids.
The success in America
So then,how to make Pokémon successful in America as well? The answer is: with an impeccable marketing campaign. Instead of introducing the products in the same order as they did in Japan, Nintendo took benefitof everything they already knew. The product required certain adaptation to the American market, mainly the TV show, but those were minor changes compared to the global concept. American kids aredifferent from those from Japan, and the best way to train them and to get them addicted to the universe was to show them how to be the best Pokémon trainer. The campaign was undertaken at the righttime, having Christmas in mind and consisted, first of all, of the introduction of a training video one week before the first episode of the cartoons was shown. Blue and Red video games appeared threeweeks later and at that time, children were already hungry for them. The introduction campaign was brilliant.
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