Reddit had its first major marketing plan all mapped out. One of the components would hit travelers with billboards at airports with a message to visit r/FlightsFromHell, one of the small communities on the website.
“We had concepts like being in airports and talking about communities like ‘Flights From Hell,’” says Roxy Young, VP of marketing at Reddit, in a phone interview Wednesday, “because what better moment in time than to step off an airplane and have something that is contextually relevant in front of you.”
The idea was part of Reddit’s rollout of its largest brand advertising campaign to date, since it hired its first agency of record R/GA in February, following a year-long search for an outside marketing team. There would be billboards like the one at the airports, and they would have showed people the “brilliantly absurd” side of Reddit, Young says.
The hellish flights community only has about 100 subscribers, but it represents the types of conversations on the platform. There are thousands of subreddits dedicated to niche interests, cultural trends, sports, politics, food, pets and all types of subjects. The bad flights subreddit is a place to vent about uncomfortable air travel.
Then, everyone knows what happened. Flights and everything else were canceled in March, making an ad campaign at airports untenable. “People are no longer traveling and that didn't make sense,” Young says.