Reddit’s 5-Second Ad Was an Unlikely Super Bowl Winner
Anheuser-Busch, Frito-Lay, and Huggies were among the companies that went to great lengths and costs to create ambitious Super Bowl commercials.
They argued with celebrities, including Bruce Springsteen, who appeared in his first commercial, and worked on the pandemic film’s restrictions to produce spots worthy of the advertising industry’s biggest day.
And then there was Reddit.
The message board involved in the GameStop frenzy that rocked Wall Street made its Super Bowl commercial in just days. At just five seconds long, the commercials flickered across the television screens so quickly that many viewers thought the CBS game broadcast had caused an error. And yet, it became one of the most discussed (and published) commercials of the day.
The Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review, an annual ranking from Northwestern University’s business school, reported shortly after Sunday’s game that Reddit’s commercial was one of the show’s most effective commercials. The Kellogg School List measures commercial execution, quality of attention, memorability, and other factors.
The Reddit ad started like a clichéd commercial with two SUVs spinning across the desert. Then the signal seemed to fry, and Reddit’s orange and white alien head logo commanded the screen, followed by a long printed statement that led viewers to snap a photo or screenshot.
GameStop versus Wall Street
Let us understand you
“Wow, that actually worked,” read the headline of the message, a reference to Reddit’s appearance on its first Super Bowl commercial.
The commercial was created by R / GA, a New York-based marketing agency that also helped Uber Eats with its Super Bowl social media strategy. Ellie Bamford, the agency’s director of media and connections, said, “The squeezing of an entire page of text into one of the shortest ads in Super Bowl history may seem strange, but it was strange the right way.”
Roxy Young, Reddit’s chief marketing officer, said Reddit only committed to running the ad, which was shown in select regional markets, after a Zoom meeting with R / GA on Feb.1.
“I felt that in all of the conversations around Reddit, we really deserved the right to be in this Super Bowl moment when millions of people are ready for a unique event,” said Ms. Young. “I just didn’t think we could get together with 30 seconds of beautifully produced material – but I was confident we could do something in five seconds.”
The advertising team brainstormed Tuesday and finalized the commercial on Wednesday, Ms. Young said. It was among the most searched Super Bowl commercials on Google on Sunday night and received more than 270,000 upvotes after being posted on Reddit. (Also popular on Reddit last week: the SuperbOwl community, which was thought about great owls.)
Last month, Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum users got into GameStop stock, increasing its share price and leaving the company’s short sellers in trouble. A hedge fund that had bet against GameStop suffered such enormous losses that a $ 2.75 billion bailout was needed by investors.
The explanation in the Reddit commercial was about his role in disrupting the markets. “One thing we learned from our churches last week is that outsiders can achieve almost anything if they come together on a common idea,” it said.
In reference to the approximately 5.5 million US dollars that CBS has charged for each 30-second national broadcast slot, the text in the Reddit ad also says: “Big game spots are expensive, so we couldn’t buy a full one. ”Instead, the company spent its“ entire marketing budget on 5 seconds of airtime ”. (That may have been a bit tedious: a 2019 fundraising round valued Reddit, owned by a group of venture capital firms, employees, and other shareholders, at $ 3 billion.)
Number 1 in this year’s Kellogg School ranking was a Cheetos commercial that was set by rapper Shaggy on the 2000 catchy tune “It Wasn’t Me”. Shaggy appeared in the ad with Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, the stars of “That ’70s Show”. Other top advertisers on Kellogg School’s list included Amazon, Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, Doritos, Indeed, Tide, M & Ms, and Chipotle.
Robinhood, a digital broker who was also involved in GameStop Mania, ran a nifty Super Bowl commercial promoting the theme that ordinary people shouldn’t be afraid to invest. This ad was listed on Reddit by the Kellogg School.