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pbs case study


If you don’t like cute animals then this is not a case study for you. PBS partnered up with Interact to create an enormously fun quiz as part of the promotion for their Animal Misfits episode. It was a great success and a truly enjoyable quiz to take, and it also worked to promote the episode.



The type of quiz PBS did falls under the “website personalization” category of quiz. The goal here is to create a personal connection with each potential viewer by connecting them with a misfit animal before the show even starts. That way, when the show starts, viewers will be eager to find the animal they are most like.


The idea for the PBS is great, augmenting a show with a quiz is a way that quizzes have been used for decades and it quite literally never gets old. However, a good idea on its own is worthless and the real value of what they did comes in how they went about executing the quiz.

First off, the quiz is full of animal pictures. This might seem all to obvious, but I’ve witnessed great quiz ideas crash and burn because they just didn’t use the visual assets they had available.

pbs twitter

Then, as the quiz progresses from cover to questions, each individual question is playful and fun, almost like a gameshow. This is a good example of PBS knowing their audience. People who are watching TV shows are looking to relax and take a load off, not answer actual difficult questions. By adding fun images and GIFs to each question, they compliment the entertainment value of the show itself.



Once the quiz is completed, you get your result, which is funny because it’s a picture of a cute animal, but also practical for PBS because each result links to the show itself. A couple of things they did well are making the result descriptions upbeat and positive while also remaining informative, and linking out to other content – never forget to link out to other content.



PBS used the “closed loop” quiz sharing method perfectly with this quiz. The quiz quiz itself is embedded in the PBS website through an iframe so it appears as part of the natural content. Then, when the quiz gets shared, the social share links point back to this webpage where people can go and take the quiz, from there the process starts over again – closed loop.

Additionally, the quiz was also shared through the official PBS twitter and Facebook accounts to get the ball rolling. The important part of any quiz embed is to make sure you don’t lose any traffic, so those shares also link back to the page pictured below where the quiz is part of a webpage on

pbs cover

Long-term strategy for quizzes

Running quizzes for weekly shows is a great way to use them in a consistent way. A lot of work goes into coming up with content for weekly shows, so augmenting each show with a quiz is an excellent strategy to make the most of that production effort.

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