Reddit tags R/GA as agency-of-record to lead its first brand advertising campaign
Reddit has picked Interpublic Group’s R/GA as agency-of-record as it plans the brand’s first major marketing push in its 15-year history.
Since July, Reddit evaluated about a dozen possible agency partners, and has chosen R/GA. Roxy Young, Reddit’s VP of marketing, spoke with Ad Age ahead of the formal announcement.
“We needed to have a partner that we felt like we had good chemistry with and who really understood our platform,” Young said in a phone interview Monday. “They need to be able to take a platform like Reddit and think about different ways to bring it to life in bold and creative ways.”
R/GA’s San Francisco office is taking the lead and is responsible for crafting the brand campaign, according to David Corns, R/GA San Francisco's senior VP and managing director. The agency has been going after more internet and tech businesses, and recently added Slack, Airbnb and Google to the client roster, Corns says.
This is Reddit’s first significant brand-building campaign, which places the responsibility on R/GA to nail the quirky internet company’s unique voice in advertising. “The fact that this was the first time they were going to market, obviously for an agency, that comes with a huge amount of responsibility,” Corns says. “But there’s also excitement about how do we do this right? You get one chance to do this properly.”
Reddit is a growing force in advertising, and has been growing as a platform for brands and agencies to run their campaigns. Reddit is known for its core audience of mostly young men who are obsessed with internet culture. But women are visiting more and more, too, and on any given month, half of the users are women, Young says.
Part of the thrust of the new ad effort will be to highlight the diversity of the audience and showcase the communities on Reddit, Young says.
Reddit has thousands of communities, called subreddits, that cater to every niche and interest possible. There are groups for broad topics like politics, sports leagues and TV shows, and there are more obscure forums dedicated to vegan food and photos of the underside of cats’ paws or, as they’re known on Reddit, “jellybean toes.”
Reddit claims it has 430 million monthly users, ranking it among the top 5 websites in the U.S.
Reddit is cranking up its advertising at the same time that Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter have ramped up their marketing. Facebook, especially, has been on an advertising tear, running its first Super Bowl commercial this year. The social network has highlighted its own communities called Groups in its ads.
Young and Corns would not discuss the exact creative they are cooking up, but said that it should be seen in billboards, online video and other channels starting in June.
Before even fielding proposals from agencies, the Reddit marketing team took a year to define the brand and identify how the platform stands out from rivals like Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook, Young says.
“What we learned from our brand foundation work in the early part of 2019 was about the emotional feeling that people get when using Reddit compared to other platforms,” Young says. “The key emotional benefit was this feeling of being deeply informed.”
Reddit has mostly grown the brand without any coordinated advertising campaigns. It does communicate on social platforms and runs app-install campaigns to drive downloads of its redesigned app.
In 2019, Reddit spent $1.3 million on measured media in the U.S., according to COMvergence. Reddit and R/GA would not discuss how much spending they anticipate from the upcoming brand work.
“There are ideas on the table that only Reddit can do that we’re talking about how we bring them to market,” Corns says. “It’s stuff that should have a huge impact and help them get into the news cycle and increase their user base.”