Transmedia Entertainment & Marketing

IBCoM: CM2052

Gotta Catch ‘Em All!

When reading the heading of this blog, there is a great chance that every single one of you had no doubt about the subject of this blog. This is due to the fact that Pokémon has been a success on a wide range of platforms. At first thought you might say that the primary medium of Pokémon is the TV, like we thought. However, the first medium used for Pokémon was the Nintendo’s Game Boy. After the launch of the Nintendo’s Game Boy game, other platforms popped up. Comic books, a TV-show, movies, trading cards, toys, and a wide range of merchandise appeared (Tobin, 2004).


The original Pokémon game that was released in 1996, is a Japanese role playing video game that contained an element of strategy. These role playing games, their sequels, remakes and English translations are being seen as the “main” Pokémon games (Pokémon video games series, n.d.).


The different platforms that followed after the success of the videogames could be enjoyed individually, without the usage of other platforms being required. You are, for instance, able to enjoy the movies while never have played the videogames before. However, the platforms are linked to each other. An example of how different platforms are used to contribute to the overall narrative is the website. On the website of Pokémon you can learn the rules and tricks of the card games. Another link can be between the movies and the TV-series. In the movies they elaborate on what happened in the series more extensively. When you have seen the series, you will thus have a greater understanding of what is shown in the movies.

Talking about success, the Pokémon computer game was the most successful computer game ever made. The trading-card game was the top globally selling trading-card game of all time. The television show was the most successful children’s program ever broadcasted. The movies were the most profitable movies ever released in Japan, and is also among the five top earners in the history of films worldwide (Tobin, 2004).


We think Pokémon is a good example of an successful Trandsmedia product. Transmedia is a process where different media-platforms are combined to spread original content and to create a story. This allows the audience to experience a unified and coordinated entertainment experience, where they can really engage in the media product (Kapoor, 2012). This is the case with Pokémon, as a lot of different media platforms were used to spread this unique content that could offer you the full experience.

Something that the creators of Pokémon really did well, is that they created products at different platforms for a wide range of ages. It is known that the market for children is difficult to reach, partly due to differences in age and gender (Tobin, 2004). Creating content for children of all ages both girls and boys is therefore a challenge. Boys can be resistant towards anything that girls like, and the other way around, girls may not be as interested in the more boyish things. However, it is something that Pokémon was able to handle. By using the different platforms, they were able to approach different age categories. Stuffed animals for under-fives, TV-series for four- to nine-year- olds, trading cards for six- to ten-year-olds, computer games seven- to twelve-year-olds, and so on. This means that when a child grows out of the age category where he/she was most likely to like a certain product, the child can enjoy a different platform/product that is more suiting his/her new age category  (Tobin, 2004).


Joseph Tobin. (2004). Pikachu’s global adventure: The rise and fall of Pokémon. Duke university press. Retrieved from:

Kapoor, R. (2012) Transmedia Entertainment & Marketing:Seminar week 1 (PowerPoint slides).

Pokémon video games series. (n.d.)  Retrieved September 18, 2012 from

Lisanne van Beurden and Mathilde Simon


14 comments on “Gotta Catch ‘Em All!

  1. Sofia Z Berkhout
    September 20, 2012

    I really enjoyed this example and completely agree that this a good example of transmedia storytelling especially relevant for those of us who grew up in the nineties. What i personally think really helped it become so successful was the fact that the computer games/card games allowed you to become a “pokemaster” as was depicted by the characters in the shows and movies. This is turn, opened the way for lots of products that were essentially “learning tools” to become a poke master… such as having your own real “Pokedex” to access information about all the pokemon available

  2. Wally Ahmady
    September 20, 2012

    This is probably the best example when it comes to a transmedia franchise, in my opinion! I can especially relate to this subject and its different platforms, as it was one of my favorite cartoons when I was younger. What I can say from my own relation with this example, is that one really had different experiences per platform. I would watch the cartoons to really get to know the different adventures Ash experienced and to get detailed information on the show. However, the games on my GameBoy showed me how hard Ash’s dilemma’s actually were (for a 10-year old kid). The games taught me how to act like Ash in similar situations. Thus one could successfully call this a transmedia franchise, because each platform had a great significance.

  3. sandraiwendelldra
    September 20, 2012

    This case really makes me to think about my childhood. I still remember me and my brother collecting Pokemon cards and traded them with our friends at school, watching lots of episodes on television, watching the full movie and playing Pokemon Silver on Game Boy – all of them gave me different stories and introduced new things. I never really thought about it back then, but it is very clear to me now that Pokemon gave me a great transmedia experience. Even if it is obvious to me now, it actually never crossed my mind that I was quite active in a transmedia experience like this. I never saw Pokemon as one story, but more like a project and now I finally know why. Thank you for presenting the case to me. The pokemon cards are the ones I believe made it successful – at least in my community. PS: I collected the cute Pokemon cards and I was very happy one time I got twenty cute Pokemons for giving away the special glittering Mew card! Was it worth it? Yes!

  4. Victoria
    September 20, 2012

    I totally agree with you guys! Pokémon is a really good example.
    I never got really in touch with the whole Pokémon thing because I thought it is more for boys. So I am really amazed that you all had some experience with that. Even I did not play or watch the Tv show but I know about Pokémon. And after all this years, Pokémon is still alive. My younger brother he just turned 12, knows Pokemon because of the the cards he collect.

  5. Veronica
    September 21, 2012

    Great example of a transmedia success ladies. Pokémon is something that most of us grew up with. The anime serie on TV with Ash, Brock and Misty always filled my afternoons and the Pokémon cards were always all over the place, to my mum´s disappointment. These were actually the only two platforms that my brother and I used, and they proved to be “enough” as we most certainly were exposed to the whole Pokémon experience.

    Pokémon is a “pretty old” example, in comparison to the other examples posted, and I consider the transmedia with Pokémon to be of a different level in comparison to, for example, Dexter and True Blood. Maybe the marketers behind Pokémon could consider such transmedia projects to vamp up the franchise and bring it to a whole new dimension – just imagine witnessing a “real life” Pokémon battle in Rotterdam´s city centre… That would be awesome.

    • Charlotte Caspers
      September 21, 2012

      I agree with veronica! it is indeed a pretty old example but to my opinion one of the best examples of transmedia! maybe something new transmedia examples added was getting the “real experience” like angry birds did in barcelona! but still pokémon remains a good example of ‘the whole package’ and is something we all grew up with but never were aware of the whole transmedia strategy behind it!

  6. Arnold Yu
    September 21, 2012

    I would say Pokemon is the best game for Nintendo’s Game Boy! The game allows you not only experience to be the main character of the cartoon (the flow of the game is more or less the same with the cartoon), but also digs more about Pokemon during the process. You can catch the Pokemon you like and throughout the game, you can understand the advantages and drawbacks of using each Pokemon, then comparing it with the cartoon. The game provides so much information that you can hardly digest it all in a short period of time. Instead, after you have watched the cartoon, as you know more about the world of Pokemon, you can have a new way to play the same Nintendo’s game. I would say it is the best part of the game because it makes you play the game for a really really long period of time. With a new episode of Pokemon being release and the trading-card being available, you will again turn back to play the games. Each media platform will eventually connect with the game, but each of them adds a little bit more to form a network, or context according to last lesson, for you to experience. A great transmedia marketing!

  7. Jamilla
    September 21, 2012

    I agree with Sandra on her point that as a child, I never actually realized I was enjoying a Transmedia product. Also, I really admire how Pokemon managed to create a Pokemon universe that both boys and girls want to be a part of. The first time I heard about Pokemon from the boys in my class, I though “probably one of those stupid shows again that boys love…”. But when I watched an episode of Pokemon on TV, I was sold! Ever since then, it has been my favorite anime series. My sister and I own three versions of the Pokemon game boy game, we would get up earlier to see the newest episode on TV, we went to the cinema when the first Pokemon movie came out, and of course we collected Pokemon trading cards, ‘flippos’, stickers, and posters! And as if that isn’t enough of Pokemon to deal with, we would even act as if we were Pokemon trainers when we were playing outside together or with the kids in the neighborhood! I guess I could say I was a very big fan of Pokemon and now looking back at their Transmedia strategies, I think they are absolutely brilliant. They are still able to provide kids nowadays with a great Pokemon experience, and if they manage to use the newest platforms and new, innovative Transmedia strategies, I think Pokemon will keep entertaining children for a long time to come! Good old times…

  8. Mimi Bezooijen
    September 21, 2012

    I agree with Sandra and Wally, Pokémon for me is the best example of transmedia marketing. Maybe because they target kids adds to its popularity, because children are likely to buy toys and other items. Yet, I remember, like Wally said, owning more Pokémon related items actually made me understand and engage in the story more. I believe Pokémon was my first transmedia experience and maybe that’s why it stuck with so many people. The previous comments only show how vivid Pokémon was in their childhood, and I believe this is because of the transmedia experience. I’ve seen many TV shows, but Pokémon will always stick with me. I think your example really helped me understanding the power of good transmedia marketing! Thank you girls!

  9. Soumaya Benkhattab
    September 21, 2012

    I agree when it is said that this is one of the best examples of a transmedia franchise. The great successes of these series can be explained by the sense that Pokemon gives you the feeling that you can become one of them. As Wally has given a good example, playing the game has made him think like Ash and deal with the dilemmas he is facing. When people can actually relate to a story and can give active interpretation and meaning to it, this is when a transmedia franchise gains success.

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  12. Jayant Sharma
    March 3, 2016

    Pokemon full games ash Gary Pokemon is good love

  13. santino
    November 29, 2016

    I love pokemon

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This entry was posted on September 19, 2012 by .
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