Innovative Mix Of Facebook Products Grows Pokémon Community For “Pikachu Outbreak”

The Story

The Pokémon Company manages the Pokémon franchise and continues to expand the world of Pokémon with innovative products and experiences across a wide range of media platforms. Launched in 1996, the Pokémon video game series has gained a strong international following, with the brand spanning the trading card game, mobile games, the animated TV series, feature films, merchandise, and themed events. Its U.S. and other overseas subsidiaries manage the brand in their respective regions.

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Pikachu Parade 2017

The “Pikachu Outbreak” summer event is one of the more popular extensions that took place in Yokohoma City between August 9-14. The festival’s popularity has grown leaps and bounds in the three years since its launch. In 2017 alone, it welcomed 3 million people, more than double the visitors it hosted a year-ago.

The Goal

The Pokémon Company wanted to build on fan excitement surrounding the “Pikachu Outbreak” and grow its global Pokémon community by offering innovative experiences through Facebook platform.

Facebook solutions such as Facebook Live videos and Facebook Camera Effects Platform helped our event team achieve global reach during the "Pikachu Outbreak" summer event. We've seen a growth of our fan base through our official community pages.

Takayuki Shindo, Director, Platform Strategy, The Pokémon Company

The Solution

The team behind the “Pikachu Outbreak” collaborated with Facebook to gain access to a wide array of innovative products and tools. In an effort to reach global audiences, the company ran Facebook Live videos, including four Live videos and nine on-demand ones. Tapping into this fun and powerful medium, the Pokémon Company discovered that Live videos were more successful.

The Pikachu team also leveraged Facebook's Camera Effects Platform to develop unique frames and augmented reality (AR) animations featuring Pikachus and launched it across 25 countries in Asia.

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Pikachu AR Effects on Facebook Camera

On the last two days of the Festival, the Pokémon Company used Messenger to help visitors navigate their way around the event and offered a custom sticker pack to drive further engagement and interaction with fans. The products were used by several people and resulted in a considerable number of interactions.

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Demonstration of Messenger bot

The Pokémon team upped the ante on influencer marketing by teaming up with popular Japanese influencer, Rikarin, who shared several posts of the event on Instagram.

Facebook video ads were also part of campaign efforts. Both the 10-second and 3-second videos exceeded the Japanese average on key metrics such as click-through rate and completion rate.

Overall, these initiatives, combined with broader Pikachu Outbreak activations, contributed to a 10% growth in Pokémon Japan’s Facebook page between August 2 and August 14. More than 50% of these fans grew organically during this period.

© 2017 Pokémon. © 1995-2017 Nintendo / Creatures Inc. / GAME FREAK inc.

Following the week-long collaboration with Facebook, the Pokémon Company found that fan growth and engagement reached new heights.

The Results


growth in Pokémon Japan’s Facebook page