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Special Project

Special Project
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

Pokémon GO - Ultra Beast Arrival

Winner in Live Events

Gold Honor in Extended Reality

Silver Honor in Immersive

Bronze Honor in Gaming


In the summer of 2022, Pokémon GO players—or “Trainers”—noticed mysterious sightings of Pokémon throughout our hallmark global live events known collectively as “Pokémon GO Fest.” While Pokémon appearing in our live events isn’t out of the ordinary, something was different about these Pokémon—something extradimensional. As our final Pokémon GO Fest of 2022 concluded, we revealed footage of these strange Pokémon running across Germany at terrific speeds, jumping great heights around the Space Needle in Seattle, and emanating electricity atop buildings in Japan! The volume of conversation around these Pokémon exploded as reports continued to roll out. We eventually confirmed that these were Pokémon called Ultra Beasts and that they were invading the world of Pokémon GO for the first time!

As the last Pokémon GO Fest began, these Pokémon started to appear in Raid Battles around the world. And with every new Ultra Beast appearance, the global community rallied to fight off these extradimensional threats! 

The “invasive” nature of Ultra Beasts provided a storytelling hook that we wanted to explore. Our objective was to create a campaign that built up to a climactic “Ultra Beast Invasion” finale and encourage Trainers—new, former, and veteran—to join forces and defend the world of Pokémon GO. To do so, we leveraged Niantic’s strengths in augmented reality geolocation-based gameplay while also staying true to the rich lore that The Pokémon Company has built as their foundation for these Pokémon.

Strategy and Execution


Our team worked together to bring an immersive experience to the world of Pokémon GO through a multi-month real-world/in-game hybrid campaign that climaxed with an Ultra Beast global takeover at the end of November 2022.

Campaign Breakdown: 

Phase 1: Proof of Arrival - Cross-Platform Social - Found Footage-Style Videos - Aug–Nov

Our campaign kicked off through a series of videos that we published as each Ultra Beast arrived in Pokémon GO. These videos, structured as reports, documented footage of Trainers witnessing Ultra Beasts appearing in various parts of the world.


Phase 2: Gathering Intel - Cross-Platform Social - Nov 18–20

In light of these sightings, we put out a call for our Trainers to report their own Ultra Beast sightings using an AR feature in Pokémon GO. Trainers around the world submitted their photos with the #GOSnapshot hashtag, which we then amplified.


Phase 3: Reporting Our Findings and Raising the Alarm - Twitter / Web / Hashtag - Nov 21

After analyzing our user-generated sightings, we announced our findings via a dedicated landing page ( We reported that a surge in Ultra Beast activity was imminent, with two key cities as prime locations for an initial incursion. To raise the alarm, we launched the #UltraBeastArrival hashtag.


Phase 4: Gathering Our Forces - Out of Home / In-Game / Cross-Platform Social / Influencers - Nov 21–Nov 26

The next phase of the campaign leveraged all of our marketing channels in an integrated push that encouraged Trainers to gather their friends and family and face the imminent arrival of Ultra Beasts.

This included:


Phase 5: #UltraBeastArrival: First Contact in London and Los Angeles - Real-World Immersion & Extended Reality - Nov 26

As a precursor to the global Ultra Beast Arrival event, we showcased the magic that differentiates Pokémon GO from other games in two key locations: Hollywood and London. Trainers enjoyed gameplay that blended the in-game experience with the real world. Through projections, we “extended reality” and showcased Ultra Beasts emerging from Ultra Wormholes in the real world at the same time and location as their appearances in-game.

Our Hollywood activation also added an additional layer of magic through a live news broadcast. Through this livestream, we leveraged our local events to drive global awareness for the finale event.


Phase 6:  #UltraBeastArrival: Global - Global In-Game Event / Cross-Platform Social - Nov 27

In the culmination of our campaign, Trainers around the world immersed themselves in our storyline by taking part in a global Raid Day event featuring all of the Ultra Beasts that had appeared in Pokémon GO to date.



Video for Pokémon GO - Ultra Beast Arrival

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Pokémon GO


Entry Credits