No Question About It: Plain Vanilla Games Partners with Fiksu to Jump Start QuizUp’s Virality
Setting the stage
Since QuizUp launched in November 2014, enthusiastic users have been challenging friends or strangers to quick seven-question rounds of trivia questions. It pits users against one another in real-time or asynchronous matchups across over 300 topics—with new topics being introduced regularly. But its success wasn’t guaranteed by any means.
Plain Vanilla Games, the company behind QuizUp, had previously launched a preschool learning app, and despite being highlighted in the App Store, the game didn’t sustain app store success. As CEO Thor Fridrikksson told Wired.com, “We thought if we made a really good product it would just sell, but that’s not the case.”
When the team came up with a new idea, “a social app modeled after Trivial Pursuit,” they were determined to pair a good product with a good marketing plan. But as Neal Ostrov, Chief Marketing Officer at Plain Vanilla Games, said, “there is a negative connotation towards mobile trivia games and not many people have been able to crack [this category] in the past.” So, Plain Vanilla partnered with Fiksu to provide the promotional boost needed to succeed in the App Store.
Optimizing for sustained success
Fiksu knew that supporting QuizUp’s initial success would be a challenge, and immediately started testing a wide range of creative on both banners and videos. Working together, the two companies figured out which messages and colors were the most effective.
Because the app itself was so popular, serving up these high-performing creative ads led to an ongoing stream of new conversions. Within a month of launch, QuizUp had attracted 5.5 million registered users who spent an average of 35 minutes a day playing—earning them that title of “fastest growing iPhone game in history.”
Fiksu also tested a variety of advertising channels, mainly video, banner, real time bidding (RTB), interstitial, and text ads. Video and interstitial traffic proved to be very efficient, and RTB delivered very strong click-through rates of around 5.6%. Over time, Fiksu allocated a larger share of budget to those sources.
“Our marketing partnership with Fiksu gave us the promotional boost we needed to not only succeed but to dominate the games app category—a position we didn’t expect to realize in such a short timeframe.”
— Neal Ostrov, CMO, Plain Vanilla Games