Starbucks and the Pokémon Go Frappucino

Who wasn’t bitten by the Pokémon Go bug this summer? I know I was, and it made for great fun poking around my coworkers cubicles, under their desks, my neighbors backyards, and local parks — and then the thrill got a little old and like a flash in a pan, it was over. At least it was for me.

So how does a company like Niantic, the company behind Pokémon GO, stoke the coals to respark interest in the game?

Well the next time you step into your local Starbucks for a caffeine fix, you might want to be ready with your mobile device out and your Pokémon Go app open and ready. Earlier this month, roughly 7,800 Starbucks across the United States turned their stores into new Pokémon Stops and Gyms as a way to promote the company’s new Pokémon GO Frappuccino drink, which is a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with raspberry syrup, freeze-dried whole blackberries and topped with whipped cream. It was also a way for Niantic to introduce over a 100 new Pokémon to the game in hopes of keeping the game exciting as well as lure back folks who’ve abandoned the game.

My barista was proud of her work.

My barista was proud of her work.

The drink itself will be in stores for a limited time, but no word on if the PokéStops and Gyms will remain after the campaign is over.

It’s definitely a pretty cool way for Starbucks to launch a new product and seems to follow in the footsteps of how Snapchat launched their Spectacles, by using the quest as part of the marketing for a new product.

This new campaign is similar to the time when Niantic partnered with McDonald’s at the launch of Pokémon GO to turn 3,000 restaurant locations in Japan into Gyms and PokéStops.

It was also announced earlier that Niantic and Sprint plan on turning Sprint, Boost Mobile and Radio Shack stores into PokéStops and Gyms, which will include over 10,000 stores across the United States.

Pokémon Go is a free app, but users can spend money on digital perks. SuperData Research Inc. is reporting that the game has generated more than $800 million in revenue. No data has been released on how much Niantic made by allowing Starbucks to use the Pokémon GO trademark.


And in case you’re wondering, the Pokémon GO Frappuccino is a little on the sweet side, but overall, pretty good.

Pokémon GO still remains among the top 30 gaming apps in iOS and Android.

About the Scout

Bobby Carlton

Hello, my name is Bobby Carlton. When I'm not exploring the world of immersive technology, I'm writing rock songs about lost love. I'd also like to mention that I can do 25 push-ups in a row.

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