In 1996, when the first Pokémon creatures made their way into a Nintendo Game Boy video game, they created quite a stir in Japan. That stir quickly grew into a worldwide sensation as the Pokémon franchise was extended to include comics, cartoons, movies and even a trading card game. According to its makers, just a month after the Pokémon animated TV series was introduced in North America in 1999, over 1.5 million viewers were tuning in every Saturday morning.

Eventually, the craze died down but it really never went away. Now, Pokémon is enjoying a huge revival, thanks to its latest incarnation as a GPS-based smartphone game.

The highly-anticipated Pokémon GO landed in Singapore on 6 August 2016 and within hours, CapitaLand launched its #PokemonSTAR campaign to cheer on Pokémon Trainers young and old.

“CapitaLand keeps a close tab on what matters most to our customers, tapping emerging trends to offer the most timely and relevant products and services to them. Pokémon GO is a global cultural phenomenon that has brought people together to interact and socialise through a fun and interactive game. Our buildings are where people flourish and connect. #PokemonSTAR is another example of how CapitaLand seeks to always provide the stage where our customers can come together and construct moments to call their own,” said Mr Lim Ming Yan, President & Group CEO of CapitaLand Limited.

#PokemonSTAR, which ran from 6 to 10 August 2016, combined Pokémon GO with CAPITASTAR, CapitaLand's multi-mall, multi-store cashless rewards programme, to create a unique and rewarding O2O (offline-to-online and online-to-offline) experience for customers.

The snap-and-reward Instagram activity invited CAPITASTAR members to share photos of Pokémon sightings at CapitaLand’s integrated developments, shopping malls, serviced residences, offices and homes across the island. By doing so, they stood a chance of earning 2,000 STAR$® for each post, up to 6,000 STAR$® per day and a total of 30,000 STAR$® throughout the five-day campaign.

Together with the additional #PokemonSTAR of the Day Challenge and the #CatchEmAllAtCapitaLandMalls Grand Bonus, CAPITASTAR members were rewarded with over two million STAR$® in total.

“We want to cheer on our customers as they go out in earnest building their Pokédex. CAPITASTAR provides a seamless platform for Pokémon Trainers to be rewarded with STAR$®, redeem CapitaVouchers and recharge on their digital hunt in CapitaLand properties. By leveraging CAPITASTAR, we are also able to tap on the current Pokémon fever to bring greater value to our retailers,” explained Mr Jason Leow, CEO, CapitaLand Mall Asia.

#PokemonSTAR may have ended but CapitaLand’s serviced residence arm, The Ascott Limited has since revealed plans to launch ‘Pokémon Safaris’ at its Ascott, Citadines and Somerset serviced residences in Australia, Europe, India, Singapore and Vietnam.

As part of the programme, residents will be invited to participate in a series of activities planned by the Ascott Hosts who will serve as ‘Pokémon Safari Keepers’. The activity is expected to bring residents together to locate, capture, battle and train virtual Pokémon. Pokémon Safaris are part of the Community Living pillar under the Ascott Lifestyle Programme that offers thoughtfully curated experiences to guests according to their interests, attitudes and lifestyles.