creative content marketing

speed reading test

Put people in the picture.

Screenshot 2016-02-24 22.00.21

Staples wanted to make their e-reader page more engaging.

When you’re competing with a giant like Amazon in a space they pretty much own, it can be tough to get noticed.

Responding to the brief, one of our team suggested embedding a speed reading test inside an image of an e-reader. We did a quick check to see what speed reading tests existed online. There really wasn’t much.

Comparing yourself to others can be a very powerful hook. People like to discover things about themselves, provided there’s a small barrier to entry and the results are sufficiently rewarding.


Staples Speed Reader 3

Staples Speed Reader 1

After reading the passage of text, you’re challenged to answer 3 quick questions to check you read it properly.

Then you can see your results.

You can see where you lie on the spectrum of reading speeds – from 3rd grade students to world speed reading champions:

Staples Speed Reader 6

You can see how quickly you could read different books – from Harry Potter to War and Peace:

Staples Speed Reader 5

Then you’re shown how many books you could get through on different e-readers before the battery dies – a nice bit of product placement that fits within the story:

Screenshot 2016-02-24 22.01.50

This was one of the first pieces I ever saw that got a natural second wind, receiving a wave of additional shares and coverage. It even ended up on a TV show in Portland, about things that go hot online.

  • Featured in ZDNet, Slate, Adweek, The Next Web, Forbes, CNET, Gizmodo, Daily Mail, The New Yorker, Metro, Laughing Squid, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, Refinery29, BuzzFeed, and Lifehacker
  • Linked to by 777 sites
  • Personally responsible for executive creative direction
“A little gem of a widget from Staples” – BuzzFeed