What is a cryptic image quiz?

Cryptic image quizzes have been around for some time now. The puzzles are in fact, a great concept for a digital campaign and are an excellent way to engage with your fans and followers.

This cryptic quiz uses pictures to represent clues, usually with varying degrees of difficulty. The aim being to solve all the puzzles by guessing the answers or asking your friends and followers on social media to help you.

BeeLiked, working with Doubleday Publishing, a division of Penguin Random House, launched a cryptic image quiz to help publicize all 32 of John Grisham’s novels. The quiz can be played for free at https://caminoisland.com/cryptic-quiz.

Why do they work?

The reason these campaigns are so successful, is because they are highly addictive and fun to participate in. Once I start one of these cryptic clue quizzes, I have to keep going until I have guessed all the clues. I also have a number of friends who literally refuse to stop until they have worked out the entire puzzle.

The competitions are also incredibly viral, providing the ‘word of mouth’ factor, driving you to tell your friends about it on social networks and ask them for help.

These quiz games rose to fame where brands would simply release an image to their audience on their website or in the form of a print ad in a newspaper. Today, BeeLiked has created a way to turn these cryptic clue quizzes into interactive digital campaigns ensuring they make for a highly engaging, extremely viral, social media marketing campaign that brands can create a microsite for and promote to their fans. 

Examples of cryptic image quizzes

CBS Outdoor ‘#Lookforlonger’

CBS Outdoor launched a cryptic image quiz campaign called #Lookforlonger. The brand placed 50 #lookforlonger posters across the tube network and asked commuters to guess the 75 featured underground stations hidden within the image.

Prizes for the social competition included; a Virgin Media home entertainment system, an iPad 2 or an Amazon Kindle Fire.

The idea was the brainchild of digital agency MCM Net, who also created a microsite for the competition, which added a viral element to the campaign, allowing users to log-in via Facebook and Twitter, save their progress and ask friends for help on clues on Facebook and Twitter.

The extremely innovative competition aimed to “highlight how interactive advertising on the underground can be when people are using Wi-Fi while waiting for their trains”.

Some of the stats for the campaign included:

  • 1.16 million Game players registering
  • 176,032 site visits from 109,948 unique users
  • A Global reach – people in over 150 countries have visited the site
  • Over 2,500 tweets using #lookforlonger – giving a reach on Twitter of 1.7 million people
  • Over 30,000 visits from Facebook

Paddy Power Roller Casino ‘#1MBET’

Many of us on some level dream of winning that big bet. Whether it’s that weekly lotto ticket, a stack of chips on red or a troublesome football accumulator.

Paddy Power’s ‘Roller Casino’ teamed up with London magazine Shortlist to celebrate the launch of its new ‘real time casino app’, giving fans the chance to win £1m with one spin of a roulette wheel.

The brand implemented a cryptic puzzle online, where users have to decode 40 cultural symbols and icons hidden in the image for the chance to win.Every day, for 10 days, the brand unlocked a new question which had 4 icons to find in the picture.

From football clubs to bands and TV shows, the clues were no easy guess, and if you were smart enough to find at least 35 of the hidden icons you unlocked the ‘Final Challenge’ which required entrants to show their written wit, judged by TV presenter George Lamb.

The winner was taken to a secure London venue to make a bet on an iPad roulette wheel. The entrant had to place a bet on one number between 0-36, if the ball landed on that selected number, the player would win £1m; if the number didn’t come up, they would win an iPad and split £10,000 between entrants that had the right answers.

Empire ‘The Cryptic Canvas’

British film magazine ‘Empire’ produced this cryptic image of a painting containing 50 movie references.

The only clue Empire gave was that the movies hidden were from the last 20 years.

The brand provided a fully branded microsite for the campaign, which allowed users to log in via email and save their progress, (we are starting to see where CBS Outdoor got their inspiration from now), and even allowed you to zoom right into the image to guess clues.

You can tell that this campaign was produced slightly early in the social media revolution, as the whole microsite operated through email sign-in as well as email recommendation, with only some Twitter and Facebook share buttons at the bottom of the page.

Syzygy ‘#20things’

Digital agency Syzygy ran a cryptic image quiz, where they posted a visual image of ‘Twenty things that happened on the internet and asked followers to email them all 20 answers.

The campaign was a raging success. In the first 4 days alone, #20things got more than 2.4 million impressions on Twitter, and half a million on Facebook. Over 300 blogs covered it and it was discussed on more than 100 forums. Mashable, Gizmodo, Laughing Squid, Design Taxi, The Daily What and MSN Digital Life all wrote about it and tweeted it.

Syzygy offered a copy of the poster for your office wall as the prize! This just shows, that cryptic image quizzes have a strong appeal to audiences without the need of a huge prize, unlike some other competitions.

Some other old school cryptic images…

Here’s some more cryptic image puzzles from over the years. As you will see, ‘films’ tend to be a popular topic…

Lonely Planet ‘Cities’ – Spot the 45 cities in the wallpaper

Absolut – Find the 82 hidden bottles

100 hidden movies campaign poster from LoveFilm

LoveFilm– Find the 100 hidden movies

LoveFilm – Find the 100 hidden movies 2

M&M Dark Chocolate – Find 50 dark movies

Stella Artois – Find 20 Classic Movies

Stella Artois – Find 20 classic movies 2

Final Thoughts

As you can see, cryptic image quizzes are a well established, proven concept for a campaign. These quizzes work extremely well with audiences, providing the image is well thought out and has a fun theme.

With the power of social, these campaigns can hit great viral heights as not only does this concept have people engaging with your brand on social networks, but when hosted on your website it’s constantly driving traffic to you and boosting SEO.

About BeeLiked

BeeLiked offers companies an ever-growing portfolio of campaign types that are quick to create, with full design flexibility, performance tracking, and data collection capabilities to ensure your campaign and promotion exceed all your expectations.

The BeeLiked Platform can help you engage and incentivize your audience and customers across their life-cycle and journey.

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