DoorDash uses Wordle of the day as a discount code in New York Times partnership

The promotion runs every Wednesday through Aug. 16, with interstitial video ads also included in the deal

Published On
Jul 05, 2023
Mobile phone mockups of DoorDash's Wordle sponsorship

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Beginning today (July 5) and continuing for the next six Wednesdays, the solution to The New York Times’ daily word game Wordle will work as a discount code on DoorDash in a sponsorship deal between the news organization and the delivery app.

DoorDash ads, including video interstitials, will appear within the Wordle mobile web experience—not on New York Times Games app or The New York Times News app. Mobile web players who are not already New York Times Games subscribers will see a skippable interstitial video page explaining the promotion when they launch Wordle, before being taken to the ad-free game board.

The deal follows a separate Wordle ad campaign launched last month, fronted by Keegan-Michael Key, which offered fans of the game a chance to connect with the comedian in social media.

Wavemaker, DoorDash’s media agency of record, helped broker the deal. “We are always looking for creative ways in media to bring to life the unique benefits of DoorDash,” said Brad Backenstose, client managing director at Wavemaker. “In partnership with NYTimes, we developed a first-of-a-kind platform that allowed us to reward Wordle players for their skill through amazing perks tied to Summer of DashPass and beyond. This partnership is indicative of the untapped value we see when you combine media and product to drive incremental benefit to the consumer.”

The Times told Ad Age it is also working on a separate mobile-web ad experience with Oura, the Finnish health technology company known for the Oura Ring activity tracker. That partnership will launch later this month.

The Games product, which also includes crosswords, a spelling game and more, has become an important gateway for the Times in attracting new subscribers. The company recently said its Games were played almost 4 billion individual times in 2022, with Wordle accounting for more than 2 billion of those plays.

The mobile web ad experience builds on existing Wordle ad products available to marketers. On desktop and tablet, brands can buy display units that appear above the Wordle gameplay experience at the top of the page. Advertisers can also create their own Wordle gameboard and customize a five-letter solution to it—within a Times ad unit that’s separate from the game itself.