Intent on luring millennials to Boston Common this weekend, the arts festival Outside the Box is hijacking the generational obsession with the Pokémon Go mobile app. Thanks to “Lure Modules” put in place by the festival’s marketing agency, Mungo Creative Group, festivalgoers will be able to “catch” rock-type Pokémon while listening to bands like Smash Mouth and Daughtry. The lures will be installed at points around the Common to generate virtual Pokémon for visitors to catch on their screens. The goal is to draw people to the festival, and then give them a reason to hang around.
“One of the basics of marketing is to go to where your audience is,” said Jake Messier, Mungo Creative Group’s chief operating officer, in a press statement. “You can’t walk down the street without seeing Pokémon Go enthusiasts using the app.”
Messier said lures are being set from noon to 9 p.m. each day throughout the festival, which runs through Sunday. Since the modules only last 30 minutes at a time, they‘ll have to be continuously refreshed.
Art Director Kelly Groglio will be in charge of setting the lures from her account, spending real-world dollars on in-app “Pokécoins” to buy unlimited lures in the game. Once she sets a lure, players nearby will see it and can catch the Pokémon it generates. Groglio said that incorporating the app is a way of extending the festival’s message of “shared experience.”
“The game is really amazing because it encourages collaboration,” she said. “I can set up a lure, and everyone can benefit from it. It’s free music, free theater, free Pokémon.”
Carly Sitrin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org