How This Company Capitalized On The Pokemon Go Movement

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A few companies have taken advantage of the Pokemon Go movement more than others. One of the best companies to do so has been Sberbank Life Insurance. I interviewed Max Chernin, CEO of Sberbank on how he's capitalized on the Pokemon epidemic.


1. How successful has business been for you since Pokémon Go was introduced?

Over the first few days, we received several thousand applications from clients who wanted to be insured while playing Pokémon Go. But it is still too early to draw conclusions as the game has not yet launched officially in Russia, and the majority of people will join the insurance program after the game's Russian release. Our company is the leader in the Russian life insurance market, we have over eight mln clients, and we provide all types of life insurance. We feel responsible for shaping the market and increasing financial literacy in Russia. We view this project as a good opportunity to introduce such a financial instrument as insurance to the youth via gamification.

2. How did the idea for insurance for Pokémon Go players originate?

As it often happens, good ideas emerge on the spur of the moment. Over the weekend, we realized we couldn't just brush off the Pokémon Go trend, and an idea about ensuring the gamers occurred to us. It should be noted that our team members worked on this project remotely.

3. Do any of your team members play Pokémon Go?

I am confident that Pokémon Go will enjoy increasing popularity among members of my team, and we are all awaiting the official launch of the game in Russia.

4. What tips do you have for businesses that want to get in on the Pokémon Go marketing craze?

I believe it is important to focus on the real advantages you can offer people, instead of the personal benefit. If a business can offer something people really need, it will be beneficial for the business, too. I would also suggest thinking broadly and not being afraid of taking bold steps. Standard decisions do not work in these circumstances.

5. Do you think all financial institutions should provide some type of coverage for Pokémon Go players?

If traditional financial institutions want to remain successful in the modern world, they have to accept this new reality and learn to act as part of it. I am sure that most financial institutions have something to offer to mobile application fans, and it is not really important if this is Pokémon Go or some other popular application—you just have to look at your services from a different angle.