Forget Pokémon GO. How about Conan GO?
Late-night show promotes a week of New York shows with mobile app
November 3, 2016
Apparently the Pokémon GO craze isn’t yet passé.
In fact, it is the basis for a very cute alt media stunt to hype up Conan O’Brien’s return to New York City this week for his late-night show on TBS.
The network has turned the city into a Pokémon GO-style digital playground.
It rolled out an AT&T-sponsored mobile app called Catch Coco, in which users are tasked with visiting landmarks around the city to “catch” different versions of show host Conan O’Brien, just as people try to catch Pokémons in the other game.
The first fan to catch all 15 different versions of Conan wins tickets to one of the New York show tapings, along with the chance to meet the comic himself. Another nine fans who catch them all also get tickets to a taping.
To expand interaction beyond New York, the app has a separate contest for at-home fans.
What was promoted
TBS’s “Conan,” along with app sponsor AT&T.
Why this stunt
To jump on the excitement of Pokémon GO, which was all the rage throughout the summer. That gaming app used the GPS and camera capabilities of smartphones to create an augmented reality experience, and Catch Coco does the same.
It’s also a way for the show to interact with mobile-savvy Millennials, always a good thing for a TV show and its advertisers.
The app rolled out on Nov. 1 to coincide with the week of “Conan” shows in New York.
How it worked
The Catch Coco app is very similar to Pokémon GO, with a few obvious differences.
For example, rather than hunting monsters such as Pikachu and Squirtle, users hunt various versions of O’Brien. Each version is related to a New York deli sandwich, such as Whitefish Salad Conan, Tuna Melt Conan and Bologna Conan.
Like Pokémon GO, Catch Coco uses a smartphone’s camera to make it appear as if the Conan is next to one of 15 landmarks. Landmarks in the game include Yankee Stadium, the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Rather than throwing Pokeballs like you do in Pokémon GO, Catch Coco users throw O’Brien’s famed Eisenhower mug.
Since the app promotes the show’s week in New York, the bulk of the content centers around the city. To engage with people around the rest of the country, it also features a “Couch Mode” that allows at-home players to catch one version of Conan every 24 hours.
They can enter a sweepstakes to earn “Conan”-themed prizes.
AT&T has a presence throughout the game, as well as in TV spots promoting the app on TBS. Also, one of the game’s go-to locations is the AT&T store in midtown Manhattan.
Why it worked
The stunt jumped on one of the year’s biggest trends–Pokémon GO–and did so with O’Brien’s quirky wit and humor.
It is also an opportunity for the sponsor to interact with fans on mobile devices in addition to on-air mentions on the show.
How it was received
The app has led to plenty of social media interaction with “Conan.” One fan who caught a Bacon, Egg and Cheese Conan proudly displayed the fact on his Twitter feed.
Even fans outside of New York are having fun with the app. Wrote one: “Well, here I am. Playing #CatchCoco in the dark, alone in my bedroom. As it was intended.”
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