Pirates of the Commons

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Pirates of the Commons

Pirates of the Commons is an annual event we created and executed for Algonquin Commons mall through event planning, PR, web and print design and marketing.

Design Features

GMCI™ planned a restaurant scavenger hunt for Halloween to get local people to try new foods and drinks and learn more about the mall’s restaurants. We designed a custom sign up website with social media and local digital advertising, along with bus tails, billboards, venue posters, display ads in local events magazines, and full line PR with local and regional radio and television. The custom sign up had online payment options and day-of sign in through QR codes and scanners. GMCI™ coordinated the entire event from inception to day of logistics, staffing and scoring for prizes. This event sold out in 5 days. There was an additional uptick of 30% on restaurant traffic through the next 3 weeks.
Pirates of Algonquin Commons

Creative Process

GMCI™’s strategic and tailored design approach allows your business to connect with your customers like never before.

The Hunt

GMCI’s™ team created a riddle-based scavenger hunt that ran off an app each participant downloaded. The app held the participants to a specific restaurant for a period of time in order for the players to enjoy time in the venue and try the food or drinks the restaurant was offering.

Challenge Accepted

There were different challenges at each of the many eateries. From posting team selfies on the mall’s social pages, to uploading photos of contestants eating pizza to the contest app, each team had different challenges to follow.

Media Buzz

A Captain Jack Sparrow impersonator lurched around the scavenger hunt field, waiting for contestants to find him for photos, or to answer a question specifically from the app. The local radio station played music as a live remote from the lot and ran play-by-play on the air as the contest ran. A pirate ship full of television and radio personalities rolled across the parking lot for a better view of the playing field, while broadcasting their findings to the Chicagoland listeners. GMCI created this fun for our client through years of PR relationships.

And the Winner Is

Each team was scored with the proprietary custom-built app and winners were awarded their cash prizes. Each team went home with a bag full of mall coupons, freebies and offers from the 80+ retailers in the mall. There was an immediate 70% increase in restaurant traffic after the event finished for the evening.

Website Design

Event Brite integration with custom designed Piratesofthecommons.com sign up site was created to keep everything organized for the night of the event. Each team was scanned in and given the custom app code to get started on the event.

App Development

We created a custom app that was used to run the scavenger hunt that gave each team different clues to attend to at the 12 different restaurants. These apps were timed to keep the teams in the restaurants long enough to eat or have a drink.

Event Management

GMCI ran all staffing and night of entertainment for Pirates of the Commons each year. We coordinated with local and regional media, Village and city and local law enforcement to run a smooth and fun event.

Pirates of AC

Creative Process

GMCI’s™ strategic and tailored design approach allows your business to connect with your customers like never before.

The numbers

The Pirates of the Commons events sold out in 5 days or less each year. More than 50% of the web traffic and sign ups came from social media paid ad campaigns each year. We had 10,000+ web page visits in the first 5 days of registration. The additional uptick of restaurant traffic was above 70% through the 3 weeks post event.
  • Increase in Restaurant Traffic – 70%
  • Participating Teams of four – 250
  • Social Following – 16,000


Immediate post-event increase in restaurant traffic

Web page visits in 5 days

Total Participants Cap

Total social media hashtag posts

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