You may have heard of CPMs or CPCs. But Seattle startup BigDoor wants to start a movement around another online advertising acronym. It’s called the CPQ or Cost Per Quest. Say what? Keith Smith, who founded BigDoor in 2009, unveiled the program today and he thinks it will redefine how online media companies interact with their audiences by introducing a more engaging way of connecting with consumers.

“Quests are the first step in the engagement economy that brings advertisers, publishers and users together through an engaging game layer,” Smith said in a press release. So, what exactly is a CPQ? The company said it is a new ad format that is designed to reward “users for their time and attention while engaging deeply with online brands.”

In other words, readers or viewers of a Web site earn points as they interact with advertisements.

The idea ties into BigDoor’s overall business thesis of helping content companies reward their users though badges, points and leaderboards, a concept known as gamification. At this point, BigDoor is testing the concept with SpectrumDNA and UGO Entertainment. It plans to roll out the offering on a larger scale later this year.

Tricia Duryee at All Things D notes that BigDoor essentially is trying to become the “AdSense of Gamification” with the new CPQ ad unit ranging in price from $1 to $2.50. The quests are designed so that users have to participate with the advertiser’s content in order to earn points, Duryee reports.

BigDoor is backed by the Founder’s Co-op and Foundry Group, having raised $5.7 million. Its customers include BuddyTV, Golfmagic.com, DevHub, Social Duels and Rounds.

Investor Brad Feld seems pretty bullish on the idea, writing in a blog post today:

Any solution that gives advertisers traffic, publishers money, and users rewards has the promise of being a big win.  It’s too early to tell yet if this first iteration of Quests will accomplish all of that, but the early numbers look promising. Across all of their pilot partners BigDoor is already seeing that 35% of initiated Quests are completed (a Quest requires a user to visit and interact with five different websites), and 40% of users who complete a Quest tweet or share their accomplishment.

John Cook is co-founder of GeekWire. Follow on Twitter: @geekwirenews and Facebook.

Comments

  • Techmonster

    Keith Smith is a joke.

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