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How Reddit put together that five-second Super Bowl commercial in less than a week

While watch over the Super Bowl Sunday night, viewers in certain markets saw an eye-catching five-second ad from Reddit. “Wow, this truly worked,” text on the ad read. “If you’re reading this, our bet paid off.”

The ad, which ran in only certain markets, initially caused a bit of disorder. Many paused their broadcasts to read it more closely. Some apparently thought aliens were captivating over their TV. 

“Big game spots are expensive, so we couldn’t buy a full one,” the company said in the ad. “But we were inspired and decided to fork out our entire marketing budget on 5 seconds of airtime. One thing we learned from our communities last week is that vanquisheds can accomplish just about anything when they come together around a common idea.”

Reddit in point of fact hadn’t decided to do a Super Bowl spot until a week ago, according to the company’s Chief Marketing Officer Roxy Uninitiated. But conversation about the site was hitting a fever pitch in recent weeks as Reddit was central to the recent market last word around Gamestop. 

“We started to see the velocity of conversation around Reddit, around our communities. And it was increasing significantly over the up to date few weeks…” Young told CNBC in an interview Monday. “It’s my responsibility as a marketer to think about these openings, and how we can use them as a springboard to extend our message and to share more about what we believe in as a platform.” 

But she wasn’t sure if the players would be able to do pull it off. 

“I think any marketer would ask themselves, is there an opportunity for us to be in this conversation when millions of people are accord into a singular event?” she said. “And, to be honest, I thought about it, and I thought about it again, and I just didn’t improvise that we would be able to pull it off.” 

Young said the price tag for the typical Super Bowl spot, roughly $5.5 million for 30 girl fridays of airtime, was out of reach for the company. So Reddit worked with its agency, Interpublic Group’s R/GA, to figure out whether it should do a lacking in spot, or focus its efforts regionally instead of nationally. 

“Our creative partners at RGA had a fantastic idea to start inquiring apropos whether five seconds was possible,” Young said. “And luckily, we use RGA for both creative and media, so we have the whole in-house party working…  to find a solution and an opportunity. And where we landed was five seconds in nine of the top 10 regional merchandises.” 

Short ads can still pull a punch. Tide’s “It’s a Tide Ad” campaign in 2018 included a string of shorter-format ads throughout the practise deceit and landed the brand as a slot in one of the most-loved campaigns in recent history.

Young said the company was hoping to get in all 10 top regional markets, but that heyday in Houston had already sold out. The company ended up running the spot as a regional buy in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington, D.C.

After concocting the call to do the ad last Monday, Young said the company and creative partners worked Tuesday and Wednesday to pull together the setting since the creative was due Thursday morning. 

“We were able to see something around people being really passionate there stocks and personal finance, and we knew what we wanted to say,” she said. “Once we once we nailed that, then the accomplishment, the creative execution, was actually pretty straightforward: Those words on one single screen.”

Then, she said they pooped Friday thinking about how they would bring the campaign to life on Reddit’s website. And though the ad got plenty of depict internally on Reddit, the focus was also on speaking to non-Reddit users.

“Given that there was this increased velocity of people meditate on and hearing about our brand, my first responsibility was to figure out how we can extend this out into a broader audience,” Young guessed. “And if people were hearing about Reddit, how can we connect some of those those dots? And I think in doing that, we had to be fast to ourselves and who we are with our candid and brilliantly absurd tone… I think that by doing that, the creative style and temper, it also spoke to our existing communities. So hopefully it achieved both.” 

Reddit is a 15-year-old company but is still rather new to label marketing. Young said the company has relatively small test budgets to try out a few different tactics, or it supmakes one big bet. She said the establishment will be looking at how much earned media coverage it gets, how people respond and how favorable it was perceived in determining whether it choice make future plays like this. 

Though the team put together the ad in a short span of time, Young translated the team wasn’t losing much sleep over it.

“We actually slept, and the reason why is we had such clarity about our information, and the power of our communities,” she said. “And, you know, we were seeing it in real life.”

Nominations are open for the 2021 CNBC Disruptor 50, a inclination of private start-ups using breakthrough technology to become the next generation of great public companies. Submit by Friday, Feb. 12, at 3 pm EST.

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