This is Jen Wong’s tenth CES—but only her second as chief operating officer of Reddit, the self-styled front page of the internet. Ad Age caught up with Wong on the first day of the consumer electronics bonanza in Las Vegas to find out what’s on her mind before she hits the floor. With one in 15 people in the world spending time on Reddit—according to Wong—the platform is looking to educate brands on how to reach them. She is also, she says, personally hopeful for a kinder, gentler internet in the future.
What are you looking for at CES this year?
I hope the conversation is changing about how to grow brands from what it’s been traditionally to what I think it could be. Every year I hope that’s going to happen and I feel like maybe this is the year. I hope marketers focus less on raw reach and frequency and actually think about consideration. How do you become a brand that people love, not just a brand that people know? A lot of time has been obsessively spent measuring reach and frequency but not enough going all the way through to love and consideration.
What do you hope for in 2020?
In 2020 I hope 5G really happens. I’d like all those streamy devices to work. I hope all those movements we see to make the internet better actually yield change. I hope there’s change in terms of privacy, user control, kindness on the internet, the goodness of the internet. The internet can turn toward more of an arc of goodness and be appreciated and used as such.
What’s your favorite piece of tech?
Anything related to home cooking. I want to press a button and have perfect bacon. I want to press a button and have perfect chicken and not have to think. It could only get better if it could go straight into the dishwasher and it could grind the bones and get rid of everything. It’s a New Yorker answer.
What is Reddit doing at CES?
What Reddit’s thinking about this year is about how to explain to people that we’re basically the untapped internet. One in 15 people in the world are spending time on Reddit. That’s a lot of people and that’s a lot of time. Making that more obvious and clear to people is what we’re trying to do this year.