With One Brilliant Pokemon Video, This Swiss City Instantly Became a Viral Superstar

49 million views and counting

The video includes life-size Pikachus wreaking havoc on Basel. YouTube: fadeoutTrashTV

With the Pokemon Go phenomenon still at fever pitch, what better way to promote your city than to create a crazy video filled with life-sized Pikachus running wild all over it?

Basel is Switzerland's third-largest city, and home to the famous Art Basel festival. Its tourism agency, Basel Tourismus, went all in on the Pokemon Go craze by filming a video with four life-sized Pikachus on a rampage through the city.

Footage of the Pikachus running across Basel's bridges, along the banks of the Rhine, through its parks, and across its soccer stadiums, while throwing giant Pokeballs at tourists and locals along the way, racked up 49 million views on Facebook and 225,000 on YouTube since it was posted yesterday. The video directs viewers to Basel Tourismus' website, which includes information about Basel's Pokestops, a local Pokemon Go festival and where to get the best Pokemon cupcakes in the city.

Basel Tourismus worked with digital marketing agency Fadeout to create the video, which the agency hopes will attract more young travelers to the city.

"By showing wonderful spots in the city to such a broad audience, we're confident that Basel will get a lot of attention as a destination," said Christine Waelti, manager of marketing and communications at Basel Tourismus.

Besides the views on Facebook and YouTube, Basel Tourismus has also had media inquiries and tourists asking about scheduling a visit, she added. "The response has been overwhelming. We were hoping it would go viral, but the result is just incredible. It's every marketer's dream come true," Waelti said.