10 Quizzes That Hit the Mark in 2015


Quizzes: they’re not new, but lately they’re everywhere, especially as publishers and marketers chase engagement metrics — the holy grail of any content campaign. From quizzes that satirize politics and educate readers to quizzes that help consumers choose the right product, this content asset is perfect for driving deeper, more meaningful relationship with your audience.

Take a look at these ten publishers and brands who are leveraging quizzes to great success.

  Meet Borat, your new Editorial Director

Meet Borat, your new Editorial Director

Cafe’s “Who Said It: Ben Carson or Mac From “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’”?

The “Who Said It” format took off this year, mostly because it satirizes the absurdity of the modern human condition. Huffington Post’s Who Said It: Vladimir Putin or Kanye West? is a great example and Flavor Wire’s Who Said It: Presidential Hopeful Donald Trump or ‘Idiocracy’ President Camacho?” garnered over 146,000 shares, but Cafe’s Who Said It: Ben Carson or Mac From ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’? took the internet by storm. These quizzes operate at the intersection of politics and entertainment, proving that quizzes can be leveraged as a tool to build context around important stories.

Netflix and Wall Street Journal’s “Are You An Expert in Cocainenomics?”

Want more proof that publishers are increasingly turning to quizzes as a key storytelling tool? Check out the branded content partnership between Netflix and the Wall Street Journal. These two powerhouse publishers designed an incredibly immersive content experience that tells the story of Pablo Escobar and his Medellin drug cartel. Sure, the goal of the partnership is to promote Netflix’s original series “Narcos,” but the promotion elevates itself from a mere advertisement to something much more valuable. At the heart of this piece is WSJ’s quiz “Are You An Expert in Cocainenomics?” which allows the reader to apply and affirm their knowledge of Escobar and the drug business, all while highlighting the complexities that characterize Netflix’s breakout series.


Buzzfeed’s “Can We Guess Your Age Based On Your Taste In Music?”

It’s no surprise that Buzzfeed made this list and even less of a surprise that their most successful quiz is a personality assessment. Weighing in at over four million plays and 1.6 million shares, “Can We Guess Your Age Based On Your Taste In Music?” is Buzzfeed’s most shared quiz of 2015 and their eighth most shared piece of content overall. Buzzfeed, the virtuosos of virality, understand that narcissism plays, especially with the me-first, selfie generation who eagerly await the never ending series of shareable content that spews out of the Buzzfeed geyser.

ISideWith’s “2016 Presidential Election Quiz”

With over 412,000 shares ISideWith’s “2016 Presidential Election Quiz” proved politics and interactive content are a match made in editorial heaven. Think of this quiz as a personality assessment that’s actually useful. Readers answered questions about their political beliefs, then the quiz matched those responses to the most relevant candidate, providing a percentage breakdown of which candidates share those political beliefs. (As an added benefit, the quiz also features “learn more” buttons, allowing the reader to dive deeper into key issues.) Just as long as ISideWith always tells the user not to side with Donald Trump, we’ll all be OK.


Metro’s “How Well Do You Know the Lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody?”

Metro took advantage of a massive cultural event — the 40th anniversary of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody — and activated a passionate fan base with their Bohemian Rhapsody lyrics quiz. Judging by the 172,000+ shares on this quiz, the formula clearly worked. Graded quizzes like this one are just as effective as personality quizzes, especially when tapping into a niche community like Queen fans. Folks love these quizzes because it affirms what they already know about themselves: they are superfans.

 Party on, Metro! 

Party on, Metro! 

PlayBuzz’s “The Hardest Star Wars Technology Quiz You’ll Ever Take”

PlayBuzz knew exactly who their audience is for this quiz: Star Wars super-nerds. And they loved it. So much so they shared the quiz over 159,000 times, proof that extremely challenging, topic specific quizzes work if properly positioned.

 The Force is strong with you PlayBuzz

The Force is strong with you PlayBuzz

Birchbox’s “What’s the Best Face Mask For You?”

Birchbox’s “What’s the Best Face Mask For You?” is a great example of a consumer brand leveraging a quiz to better understand their customers. Birchbox’s strategy revolves around the creation of a quiz that recommended products based on the personalities of their audience. It helped differentiate similar products (most of which were different versions of facemasks). While some brands use quizzes to generate leads, Birchbox used interactive content to put an emphasis on the most suitable product for their customers. The quiz developed a very personal connection between Birchbox and their customers by offering a product tailored specifically to them.