Live game app HQ Trivia shows how event-based advertising works on mobile

HQ Trivia, the live trivia app that lets users play for real money from their mobile devices, has just turned on the advertising pipeline. Until now, the app which lets users play against each other in answering multiple choice questions to share a cash prize at the end, had been ad-free.

A typical nightly round of HQ Trivia attracts an average one million players. Naturally, the success and high engagement rates of the app has attracted advertisers.

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The first two advertisers to join HQ Trivia were Nike and Warner Bros. Pictures. Both companies sponsored a massive grant ($100,000 Nike, $250,000 Warner).

Sponsored messages were shown in the app’s “lobby” where players typically await the start of the game. Questions during each sponsored game round were tied to advertiser-specific themes.

For example, during Nike’s sponsored round questions related to sneakers. Meanwhile, Warner Bros. Pictures was promoting its new “Ready Player One” movie that focuses on 80s Pop Culture. Thus, questions featured 80s references and themes.

Both games ended with special rounds of questions. Nike even produced custom sneakers as give-aways to winners.

Warner Bros. Pictures is set to promote two more movies on HQ Trivia over the coming months as part of a $3 million ad deal.

Importantly, it appears that event-based mobile marketing may be a whole new avenue for advertisers to explore. It’s a similar concept to TV. The game app itself is modelled on a game TV show and thus custom-brand integrations may drive higher engagement. However, the latter remains to be seen.

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