Wang Sicong, an outspoken blogger and the son of a Chinese billionaire, published a post on Weibo early January, inviting his followers to download a quiz game app called Chongdingdahui (冲顶大会). Since then, live quiz apps have been dominating the mobile apps market in China, with the launch of similar app-based quiz shows such as Cheese Superman (芝士超人), Millionaire Winner (百万赢家) and Millionaire Hero(百万英雄). Let’s see why Chinese people are so fond of such apps and how this has created a new marketing model for brands.
Why live quiz apps are popular
According to a Chinese mobile data research firm Jiguang, as of January 14, 5.64 million users have installed Chongdingdahui, whereas Cheese Superman has gotten 2.09 million users. Jiguang also revealed that the numbers of daily active users for Chongdingdahui and Cheese Superman have reached 3.81 million and 1.74 million respectively.
Chinese people are attracted to live quiz shows mainly for the big cash prizes. According to the data released by Millionaire Winner on 29 Jan 2018, the platform has held 200 live streams, giving away 190 million RMB (30.1 million USD) in cash. Nine-hundred and twenty million people have joined the quiz and 47.5 million prizes have been distributed. Moreover, the shows have invited well-known celebrities to host live stream where viewers can leave comment and interact with the hosts in real-time. For example, Millionaire Hero invited actress Liu Yan, while Cheese Superman had famous TV host Wang Han on the app.
Chinese people also find live trivia games entertaining and challenging at the same time, as users must answer all twelve questions correctly within a limited time to win cash prizes. The app sends push notifications to users before live stream begins. Users may then join the stream and answer questions according to instructions by the host. In the end, the cash prize will be split among those who get all twelve answers right.
In order to attract more users, some apps have offered specific incentives such as team mode and resurrection card. Team mode allows four users to form a team, which increases the chance of winning. The resurrection card is provided to users who invited a friend to install the app, and can be used when users answer incorrectly.
How brands market on live quiz apps
Having witnessed the huge viewership in live quiz shows, many brands have heavily sponsored the shows to promote their products and services.
For example, Huawei has sponsored an episode of Millionaire Winner to promote its smartphone Honor 9 Youth Edition. Throughout the show, the host would mention the brand and held the Huawei smartphone in hand. Pop-up ads, banners, as well as the face of its brand ambassador Hu Ge were shown. On top of that, quiz questions were designed to include features of the brand. For example – “Who is the brand ambassador of Huawei Honor 9 Youth Edition?” – which is a direct way to raise brand awareness. Other brands even announce in advance that there will be hidden tips in product posters in order to drive traffic to their social media accounts and increase views of the post.
Another special episode named Crazy Advertisers ran by Millionaire Hero attracted 5.1 million people watching online at peak traffic. The 40-minute long show was sponsored by 28 brands, displaying ads in different ways and merging marketing messages into the quiz. Viewers were aware that the episode would be full of advertisement, yet they still decided to join because of the 5 million RMB (794 thousand USD) cash prize.
Millionaire Winner also organized special shows for a Groupon-liked app called Meituan and the ecommerce platform, JD.com.
The popularity of live quiz apps has given rise to a new marketing model, in which a part of the advertising budget becomes the cash prize to attract people to participate in the live quizzes, while brand messages are blended into the game. Participants pay full attention to the quiz, but also to the sponsored ad and content. This is a very effective and direct way of marketing that captures audience’s attention. In the next stage, it is expected to see more diverse sponsored content and more real traffic conversion from live quiz apps to brands’ social media accounts and official apps.
What do you think of the live quiz apps in China? Have you ever participated in those games? Leave a comment below. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.
To get deeper insights into Chinese social media marketing and utilizing it to serve your business, join ChoZan, a training and resources platform for Chinese social media marketers. Please follow our official WeChat account to get more updates about the latest news, feature updates and case studies.