pokeball with money bursting out of it

Illustration by Max Fleishman

Gotta brand ’em all.

Pokémon Go has been out for less than a week and has already changed the landscape of the United States, New Zealand, and Australia significantly—and not just by filling it with Rattatas. Brands are doing their best to cash in on trying to catch them all.

Save for this viral sign, which looks Photoshopped and probably isn’t really hanging outside a Dairy Queen, everyone from professional baseball teams to beloved neighborhood restaurant Applebee’s has gotten caught up in the Pokémadness.

Not even governmental organizations are immune to the pseudo-VR appeal of making the planet a giant patchwork of Kantos and Hoenns. Police stations have issued warnings to Pokémon trainers to stay aware so they’re not robbed or get injured.

Even in cautioning users, the thirst comes through. Seemingly every aspect of life has been affected by the proliferation of Pokéstops and gyms. 

The lighthearted spirit of brands latching onto yet another trend is, at its most optimistic, a sign of unity among disparate companies and disenfranchised customers. Not all is chill in IRL Pallet Town, however.

Employer-used ice burn. It’s super effective.

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