The story of how we made the virtual pub quiz a staple of your weekend lockdown schedule.
With the catastrophic loss of on-trade sales and events from the UK lockdown, we supported Tennent’s to discover new innovative ways to reconnect with their consumers. We worked together to strategically design and build an innovative digital product — Pintless, an interactive online pub quiz platform.
As the lockdown forced everyone into their homes, many found themselves cut off from friends and family. With people switching to digital platforms for regular communication, having a drink with your mates over Zoom was fast becoming the new normal. The idea for Pintless was simple — to bring back the beloved pub quiz.
Tennent’s needed to find a new way of building meaningful relationships with its consumers during this difficult time; something that could also be integrated with other platforms to support digital marketing efforts and online sales. That’s where we stepped in.
Tennent’s recognised the need for a creative solution that would help consumers stay connected and entertained, but keep safe by practising social distancing. Digital hangouts offered the perfect opportunity to reinvent one of the UK’s favourite social activities.
As a team, we were already finding it difficult to design our own quizzes to enjoy at home. Where do we find the questions? How do we make it look great? How do we keep score? So - we took a practical approach to solve these problems using design and technology.
Focusing on the human element was important for Tennent’s. We had to think of a solution that was both engaging and memorable to audiences and their quickly changing needs. We focused on creating the perfect pub quiz game that people could host themselves and have their social circle participate in.
So, what is Pintless?
Pintless is an interactive quiz platform that is not only entertaining and fun, but has a strategically-focused innovation process on consumer insights, data capture and online sales. We saw what folks were already doing and made it easier. Simply put, we delivered a different kind of digital experience by translating emerging behaviours into product.
However, we wanted to give people something engaging and user-friendly, so we created a personalised quiz experience to let them choose topics that fit their interests, so they don’t need to worry about prep or fact-checking. It offers users the chance to recreate an immersive pub quiz on their own terms, allowing them to fully feel involved in the activity while socialising with others.
By designing and building Pintless, we gave Tennent’s audience what it deserved — a transparent, authentic, and collective human touch. While it was made to boost sales at a slow time, it’s not too sales-focused and comes across as caring about the consumer. This approach creates strong foundations for trust and brand loyalty.
How did we do it?
Pintless was in high demand, so we wanted to deliver as fast as possible, whilst providing opportunities for future development. This meant we had to build smart. The project was split into three sprints. Each sprint had a focus on solving a single user problem: curating questions, game administration and scoring & answer mechanics. A serverless stack, coupled with Gatsby.js, meaning that the application was performant on a range of devices while also robust enough to handle spikes in traffic — hello Saturday night. This enabled our product and design teams to work together quickly to assess any technical issues and create the desired user experience rapidly.
We worked hard on the art direction and development to turn the project around within a few days to launch, this came with its own challenges but it’s always fun to see our work out in the field so quickly! Together with the Tennent’s team, we broke down the steps to accurately gather requirements and understand the process outcomes — a truly collaborative effort.
Identifying ten questions per round, each topic area is uniquely customisable to the Quiz Master through the selection of “ question packs”. Our team and Tennent’s tested and went through each of the steps to create and deliver an interactive quiz experience at home.
The design direction was led by our lead designer, Scott Henderson, to bring the style concept to life. It was important that we paid tribute to the look and feel of the brand, with layouts and typography inspired by Tennent’s iconic product packaging. Implementing a warm colour palette and interface to feel contemporary, friendly and intuitive. We also included colourful motion design that’s dynamic, capturing a sense of fun and excitement.
We challenged ourselves with developing the design direction for a more digital audience all while preserving the T history. By giving Tennent’s a new colour & typography system they could use elements again and begin to streamline future projects.
The user experience
To encourage momentum and minimise overwhelming participants, we kept each stage simple and straightforward. The topics are easy to understand, and with different levels of difficulty to suit participants’ needs. We also gave users a simple, straightforward way to plan their quiz in advance, including a date and time. As with all good pub quiz etiquette, we also gave people the ability to personalise their quiz with team names (and get as creative as they liked!)
It was important for Tennent’s to help consumers feel less overwhelmed by the challenges they’re facing during the lockdown. That’s why we designed the digital quiz experience to be simple, user-friendly with easy to monitor progress. We paced each question so it was easy to digest, with different genres and levels of difficulty.
We also made the quiz instantly shareable via a simple link that could be quickly sent to participants.
The conversion rate optimisation
The flow of the platform is optimised for users to subscribe to Tennent’s mailing list, but also be directed to online sales of Tennents. Within the first few days of launch, the original project KPIs were smashed.
The future of Pintless?
Pintless goes beyond a campaign. The final product is an evolving digital platform that embraces gamification with a creative yet playful approach to e-commerce.
It is an iterative process. This involves adapting requirements to stay relevant, such as adding new question rounds, supporting content strategies and integrating new products. From giving the game some time to find an audience — participants have a chance to play and give feedback, so we can improve the experience. It is now a fully established quiz that can continue to live on, provide meaningful entertainment and adapt past the lockdown.
Looking back, we can say that positive results were generated by:
- Easy accessibility to users
- An innovative brand approach to digital consumer experience
- 3000 games created the first few days following launch
- Over 24,000 players in the first four weeks