HQ Trivia is a mobile game show that typically allows users to contest every night it airs.
The game is played both on Android and Apple apps and during that time, users can answer 12 or 15 questions for a cash prize. The ones who manage to solve them all split the award.
The game has been gaining popularity earning Scott Rogowski, the host, an appearance at the Super Bowl and on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.
The most popular games have drawn close to two million users at the same time with a typical match having over a million per game night. Those audiences come close to those of top TV shows, and advertisers have started to take notice.
Until now, HQ has had no sponsors or ads. Early this month, they announced their strategy for monetization that is driven by the event (the game) like their app.
The first advertisers on the App were Warner Bros and Nike, each with a different ad strategy.
The two companies sponsored substantial grand prizes; $100 000 for Nike and $250 000 for Warner Bros. The ‘lobby’ where players typically hang out before the game, had branded messages running. The questions in the games were connected to pop culture in the 1980s and sneakers allowing the sponsor to engage with the user.
However, that was as far as the brands had in common.
HQ and Nike had a semblance of a partnership online, but the evening after the game, there was no footwear mention. After about thirty minutes after the game, Nike sponsored a message that was sent to HQ users letting them know about an exclusive contest with prizes. The company then went ahead to customize sneakers for the four winners that night to top up to the cash they received.
Warner Bros’ ‘Ready Player One’, on the other hand, added some questions to the game. The players were awarded during the game as the match built momentum towards the grand prize.
The two games proved that mobile advertising could appeal to a community that wants to reach millions outside the TV.
Indeed, it appears as if Warner Bros was for the idea since inception. Reports show that their sponsorship was just the first step of a three-step strategy to invest $3 million ad money to promote their movies in the months to come.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau thinks that no form of advertising is growing as fast as mobile advertising. However, marketers also find it hardest to adapt to.
HQ presents a possibility for another unique advertising solution. Mobile marketing may be able to move towards event-driven concepts that were previously reserved for TV.
The only question now is whether others will follow suit.