Offer value and the user will come to you: the boom of online quizzes in China

Brands struggle to create "useful" engagement.

While in the East some apps with cash prizes are enjoying great success.


Social media = paid media? Yes, at least for companies. While maintaining the original dimension of relationship tools, in recent years these platforms have limited the organic visibility of contents generated by brands.

This has made investment in advertising necessary to reach the target of interest and create engagement, even if the rate of involvement is often an end in itself and does not lead to a real return on investment or to an effective conversion of users into clients.

In China, India, USA and Thailand, some companies have recently launched online quizzes for mobile devices, with cash prizes to be won. In this case, the acquisition of users is favoured by the nature of the game, which stimulates engagement and goes viral without any advertising expense.

These are elimination games where the participants have 10 seconds - time frame that makes it impossible to cheat - to choose between the 3 answer options. At the end of the series of questions, the prize money is divided among the winning users. If you make a mistake, you can continue playing by inviting friends.

Show episodes are broadcast at specific times of the day, usually at lunch and dinner times, when people are together. Inside it is possible to insert advertisements of sponsors and partners through pop-ups, banners, mentions and sponsored episodes.

In India, the main app is "Loco"; in the United States it's "HQ Trivia". In China, “Million Dollar Hero” reaches up to 6 millions users at the same time with 3 million yuan in prize money per game. Other companies such as Baidu and Netease have launched their quizzes online, facing the opposition of the Chinese government, who recently has promoted a campaign against Internet addiction.

In Thailand, "Panya" has topped 1 million downloads with 250,000 active users per week in the first 2 months. In a second moment it intends to become an editor and give exclusive contents to loyal users, offering them the possibility to interact with actors and guests of the shows.

What does the boom of these apps show? It proves that if companies offer valuable rewards - in this case "real" money - they will become a target, with users looking to find them.