The recent release of the new interactive app, Pokemon Go, has brought about a resurgence of Pokemon love. Twenty-somethings are crazy about this throwback to their childhood which provides a world in which Pokemon characters come to life. The game has drawn in new admirers of all ages with its enticing call to "catch 'em all." Spotify revealed that download regularity of the brand's well-known theme song went up 362% in the weeks following the game's release. This is the largest surge in Pokemon popularity since the introduction to the video-game's spin-off cartoon in 1998 and it has sparked conversations about what made Pokemon such a great success.
When Nintendo decided to produce this cartoon, they knew that the key to their commercial memorability and success was a kick-ass theme song. Production company Rave Music's John Siegler and John Loeffler were hired to write the music and lyrics to a theme song that would become the calling card of Pokemon. Vocalist Jason Paige was brought in to sing "Pokemon Theme", providing a youthful sound to the '80s-glam-band-reminiscent tune. Once released, the 60-second ditty became inseparable from the Pokemon brand, and proved to be the catchy, lucrative song that Nintendo had hoped for.
By the early 2000s, the Pokemon brand was valued at over $10 billion. Nintendo had struck licensing deals with dozens of companies creating Pokemon products, many of which incorporated Pokemon's memorable theme song in some way. The publishing of "Pokemon Theme" was owned by various corporate partners, who provided the writers with a sizeable share, but supposedly undercut the singers due to the use of buyout contracts. Paige felt that his compensation for his vocals in the brand's triumphant theme song was severely low considering Pokemon's huge commercial success, resulting in a legal battle with Nintendo in attempts to recoup royalties.
When one thinks of Pokemon, the melodic flow of the lyrics "Pokemon, gotta catch 'em all. It's you and me, I know it's my destiny!" will no doubt come to mind. Learn more about the history of the unforgettable "Pokemon Theme" and the chatter surrounding the Pokemon brand in Dan Rys' Billboard article