Analysis of Pokémon SuMo & XY PR Campaigns (Part 2)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Mewtwo. But today, you also get to read the 2nd part of the analysis.


(Via Joe Merrick on Twitter)

I have created some documents to make it easier and help with the whole analysis. To create them, here is the methodology:

  • Compare the websites
  • Watch all the trailers
  • Read all press releases
  • Compare assets
  • Ensure that the data was not off
  • Find patterns
  • Find differences & similarities
  • List all announcements and on which days they have been made (Note: This is relevant when you have an interest in PR Intelligence).
  • Analyse Pokémon Go PR communications
  • Analyse Yokai Watch info that I could find

In advance: I apologise if the numbers are a tiny bit different

Let’s start!

Output comparison


When you take a look at the number of assets without context, you’d think that Pokémon XY campaign was much denser than the Pokémon SuMo one. Well, that’s not exactly true.

While it’s accurate to say that Pokémon XY had much more assets than Pokémon SuMo, the latter benefitted from better quality assets. TPC/Nintendo distributed 257 screenshots for Poké XY and only 13 for SuMo. My take on this (it doesn’t involve any confirmation, those are just thoughts):

  • Pokémon XY were the first Pokémon games in 3D so it had to be shown as much as possible
  • Screenshots take less time/money to pull out compared to trailers
  • Pokémon XY were probably optimised for the 3D engine
  • Note: in some companies, dev teams are also in charge of creating the assets. I don’t know if that’s the case for TPC, so please take this sentence with a sea of salt.
  • 3DS (or even Vita, for what it’s worth) are suboptimal to showcase through screenshots due to resolution. As a publisher, you want to show your game under the best possible angle –without distorting reality, and 4:3 / 320×240pixels screen is far from being the most favourable to do so
  • Given the activities on 20th anniversary around the brand, maybe they wanted fewer assets on SuMo
  • They simply decided to shift to the good ole “quality of quantity

Speaking of quality, the Artworks for SuMo were in higher resolution and had more variety. The trailers also had some differences and appeared to be better on the latest Pokéduo. Here are some comparisons:

  Announcement endslates: 

  • XY uses a massive white font on a black background which isn’t necessarily “in line” with the Pokémon style.
  • SuMo
    • We don’t see it, but all the languages were included in the endslate right before this title card
    • Social networks hashtag included from the get go (go mainstream much?)

Backgrounds for trailers:

  • XY: The black background (top left) was used for almost two-third of the PR campaign before the XY background was implemented on trailers (see top right)
  • SuMo: From the first trailer, we get to see the orange/purple colours that you saw during the whole campaign, on all assets. Those colours also remind you of the front of pack, which is good for Brand identity and consistency

Pokémon Reveals:

  • Poké XY had standard reveals during the whole campaign, with just the plain background, sometimes the types were shown/written, sometimes they weren’t
  • Poké SuMo used the same model for almost every reveal:
    • Gameplay of said Pokémon
    • Character Art
    • Types/Abilities
    • Same background for consistency.

Endslates during the campaign vs Launch/Post-Launch:

  • XY: you can see the evolution of Poké XY endslates
  • SuMo: still lot of consistency, and push of the hashtag and brand website -which obviously had a lot of contents for fans and newcomers!

As you can see, some tweaks have been made, and for the better. Don’t get me wrong: the content and reveals that were done on XY were amazing. However, SuMo’s execution is much better and leaves space to attract people who aren’t familiar with the brand, as the assets are colourful and perfectly crafted. 

When speaking about the main campaign – not the post-launch one were many Pokémon has been added to XY and revealed via video: SuMo also benefitted from more trailers. For years now, the adage has been “(video) Content is King“. All marketing studies show that there is a far better transformation rate/ROI when brands use videos. This ROI goes even further when brands use compelling, unique, engaging content that tells a story. (apologies for the Marketing & PR barbarisms).

Regarding the number of media alerts/press releases:

  • Poké XY
    • Main campaign lasted for 10 months & had 22 pushes to press
    • Ratio: 2.2 communications per month 
  • Poké SuMo:
    • Main campaign lasted for 11 months & had 24 press releases (with a silence of 2.5 months after the first reveal on 26/02)
    • Ratio: 2.18 communications per month 
    • I believe the silence was useful and very likely to be part of the strategy, meaning I won’t do a not so useful ratio taking into account the break
    • During this silent period, one announcement has been made on PokéGO, revealing new features.

As I said in the beginning of the article “When you take a look at the number of assets without context, you’d think that Pokémon XY campaign was much denser than the Pokémon SuMo one.”. With this ratio, we can see that the numbers are slightly similar… But the next articles will show us some interesting patterns, takeouts and why/how Poké SuMo PR Campaign was more extensive. (Teasing intensifies)

Here is what you can expect:

  • More visuals
  • A YUUUGE excel file
  • Lot of text
  • Pokémon.

What can we keep in mind following this article?

  • Video content is key
  • Quality over quantity
  • Consistency is key: I insist on this one, as some campaigns in the industry seem to be done by 4 persons/channels rather than a team aiming towards the same goal.  PESO. Note: Sometimes, I have failed to do that, and I’ll keep on failing because that’s how you learn.


Want more?

3 thoughts on “Analysis of Pokémon SuMo & XY PR Campaigns (Part 2)

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