Goqii taps into Pokemon Go craze to create fitness awareness

Pokemon Go Photo: Wikipedia
Ahead of the launch of its fitness band early next month, fitness technology start-up GOQii is leveraging the Pokémon GO fever to create brand awareness.

GOQii, a marketplace for fitness coaches providing personalised training programmes along with a wearable fitness tracker, has been organising events called

Active Sundays for 18 months, wherein it invites people to take part in fitness activities. With the Pokémon GO craze catching up in India, the start-up has now decided to base the event on the game.

Pokémon GO, which uses smartphones’ global positioning system and camera, allows users to capture virtual creatures, also known as Pokémons, hovering in the real world.

On Sunday, the California based start-up founded by Vishal Gondal in 2014, the former CEO and founder of Indiagames, organised a Pokéwalk across Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi, wherein it invited players to walk, talk and capture Pokémons.

“The idea to organise Active Sunday based on Pokémon GO came because I saw a lot of people across our offices playing the game. I am also from the gaming background, and I downloaded the game as soon as it was launched in the US,” said Gondal. “So we thought why not use the game to organise an event which brings together the players across the cities and do some workout, since Pokémon GO is all about walking to places and catching Pokémons.”

Normally, GOQii’s Active Sunday events get 40-50 people, but this time around, the number that turned up in Mumbai was 10 times higher than the usual.

Clad in colourful, battle-mode outfits, with backpacks carrying water bottles and portable chargers, hundreds of school and college students, clutching their smartphones, gathered in Hiranandani in Mumbai.

Gondal said, it was the biggest participation across the cities he has seen so far. Around 500 players gathered at the venue. After a quick warm-up, the participants dispersed across the area, chatting and exploring the place.

To ensure that players have enough Pokémons to go after, Gondal attached Lure Modules to the PokéStops around the area. Lure Module is a feature that attracts Pokémons to a PokéStop for about 30 minutes. A player can buy it in the in-app store or earn it at higher levels. Among the players were students. “Even our parents do not mind as we are getting up early on Sunday morning and getting some exercise,” said Ridhyum, an engineering student, who came from Chembur in Mumbai.

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