CNN Goes Gaming For Dollars

Ford Sync to sponsor weekly quiz

CNN relaunched its Website Oct. 26 with a new look and a focus on video, but as the site evolves, it is also boosting the interactive features available. At the heart of the strategy is the CNN Challenge, a weekly quiz on questions about the week’s events, or historical moments.

CNN has signed up Ford Sync to be the presenting sponsor for the game when it formally launches this month (the game is playable on right now, though it features house ads). According to Kay Madati, VP of CNN’s Audience Experience Group, the Ford buy was not part of a larger package, but was specifically for the CNN Challenge game itself.

“This is strictly a digital deal, and strictly about this game,” Madati says. “Ford was super excited at the prototype we showed them months ago, and said they wanted to be the launch sponsor.”

The Challenge features three rounds, and takes five to eight minutes to complete, making it longer than a normal online game. The length allows for in-depth advertising. The current incarnation features two commercial “pods” between rounds and a link to the sponsor’s Website on the final scoring/congratulations page.

Each week will see two new historical quizzes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and a quiz on the week’s news released on Thursdays. Visitors can choose from a selection of CNN anchors to lead them through the quiz. Going forward, Madati expects to have quizzes centered on certain topics, such as the environment, allowing advertisers interested in those areas to reach a more targeted audience.