Singapore malls using Pokemon Go to lure players and shoppers draws scorn from netizens

CapitaLand Pokemon GoCharmander Pokemon Go CapitalandCapitaLand is among the first companies to take advantage of the Pokemon Go craze arriving in Singapore, launching an Instagram competition that rewards players who take a picture of a Pokemon at one of the real estate firm’s many locations dotted around the island.

Players who take a picture of a Pokemon at a CapitaLand mall, office or home, location-tag the image and use the hashtag #PokemonSTAR, can earn points that can be redeemed for shopping vouchers.

High-end mall ION Orchard has also piggybacked Pokemania, yesterday releasing what the company claimed were “hundreds” of lures to attract the virtual characters. Players who take a picture of a Pokemon Go capture can win shopping vouchers by entering a #IONgraphy social media contest.

However, some players have taken to ION Orchard’s Facebook page to complain about the lack of Pokemon characters that were able to find at the mall, while others have suggested that shoppers are put off by Pokemon players wandering around the mall.

IONgraphy Pokemon Go post on Facebook

Others complained about the length of time they were expected to spend at the expensive mall to catch Pokemon.

Pokemon Go ION Orchard

Another player suggested that the ploy to use Pokemon to boost retail sales at the mall would not work because of the tendency among players to be so engrossed in the game that they do not notice their surroundings.

ION Orchard Facebook comment

One commented suggested that holding a competition to lure Pokemon players would put off non-playing shoppers.

ION Orchard Facebook comment

Jurong Bird Park's Pokémon Go map

Jurong Bird Park’s Pokémon Go map

Singapore’s wildlife parks have also used the augmented reality game as a publicity exercise, announcing that locations where players can win virtual items are to be found at Singapore Zoo, Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and River Safari. Wildlife Reserves Singapore has warned players not to enter any of the exhibits in search of Pokemon characters.

The Pokemon Go game was given added publicity ahead of its launch in Singapore by an Australian marketer named Sonny Truyen, who in an angry Facebook post last month suggested that Singapore was an inferior place to live because the game wasn’t yet available in the country.

Sonny Truyen

Truyen, who was VP of digital marketing at, was fired after a torrent of protest to his comments on his employer’s Facebook page.

PUB Singapore post

PUB post featuring Water Wally

Singapore newspaper TODAY carried a story today featuring press announcement from a number of government authorities including the police, army, airforce, water authority and national gallery to warn of the dangers of playing the game. The Public Utilities Board reminded players that its mascot, Water Wally, is not a Pokemon.

The story in TODAY reads: “The game has sent legions of players in a frenzy globally, with some venturing into dark alleys and unfamiliar neighbourhoods in search of the imaginary creatures. It has reportedly played a role in robberies and injuries in countries like the United States.

“Authorities in Singapore have issued advisories following the game’s launch, urging players to stay safe and keep out of restricted areas.”


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