Reddit CMO on first UK campaign: ‘We try to pay homage to our unique communities’
Reddit has launched its first UK brand marketing campaign one year after setting up shop in London. Reddit chief marketing officer Roxy Young talks The Drum through how, with the help of R/GA, it adapted the ‘Maybe Together We’ll’ campaign for the UK to raise awareness and engagement in its second-largest market.
Reddit has been dubbed the ‘front page of the internet’, and by its chief marketing officer Roxy Young, “a community of communities” (called sub-reddits). Its latest campaign is celebrating one year in the UK and is looking to increase interest from users and advertisers. It does this by leaning into four brand traits, according to Young. “These are brilliantly absurd, candid, eclectic and self-aware. We always try to ensure that our marketing feels uniquely Reddit by leaning into our brand traits.”
The campaign was inspired by a year of pandemic activity where she saw “online communities drive real-world action”. The user-generated content site isn’t alone in knowing its strength comes from its communities, and that its marketing must shine a light on its creativity. But Reddit wasn’t taking any chances either.
“We ran early concept testing among UK consumers, which found that the campaign delivered strongly against engagement, attribution, perception and action metrics.”
In the UK in 2021, active users were up 48% on 2019. “There is already significant awareness and familiarity among consumers with the Reddit brand in the country. In our own tracking studies, our brand health measures in the UK follow very closely behind what we see in the US.” As a result, it didn’t deviate so far from the creative it was running in North America.
‘Maybe Together We’ll’ takes viewers through all of the many possibilities on Reddit and the communities they could be a part of. It throws a lot at the wall, from skincare to list-making to dog adoption, in the hope that something will stick and resonate with viewers. Having launched today, it will be distributed across addressable TV, YouTube and social media, as well as out-of-home (OOH) ads across London.
Young says: “It’s still reasonably early days for us. Our priority is to encourage more people to dive into Reddit and to find their community by showcasing and celebrating the UK users who are already adding so much to the platform.”
The campaign is a spiritual successor to its five-second Super Bowl ad – which for many was a winner of the tournament.
It ran a still image as a Super Bowl ad, while the manifesto had more copy than you could read in that time. An allegory for modern life perhaps? Either way, it saved millions of dollars and attracted more attention than it may have with a 30-second spot. The next big campaign ran around Pride Month. The UK element builds upon this.
Young says: “It reflects the inclusive nature of Reddit while also inspiring people to discover the platform for themselves. The line [Maybe Together We’ll] hinges on the belief that anything can happen when people unite around their passions, which is something we really believe to be true.”
This work comes via global agency of record R/GA, which it has been working with since the start of 2020. It’s a “true partnership,” Young says, and acknowledges a lot of “pivots and step-changes” as the pandemic hit. It sits with the Reddit marketing and in-house creative teams.
One of the most demanding elements is ensuring clever copy. The most upvoted Reddit content tends to be razor-sharp observations and thoughts – the marketing team has the unenviable task of matching the best of the best.
“The reason this is one of our brand traits is because we are picking up on the tone and sensibility of our broad range of communities. You can find some amazing gems when you dive into the comments on Reddit. And through our marketing, we always try to pay homage to our unique communities.“
Young calls this campaign “the most integrated campaign we’ve ever executed”. Recognizable OOH sites will work with digital social to get the word out. And meanwhile, as commuter activity cranks up again, it has partnered with 26 tube stations. It’s also taken over the Wall (an interactive ad media) at Westfield London Shopping Center, which features the community r/TodayILearned.
“We’re dipping our toes in the water to see what resonates, but we’re really happy with the media distribution, which feels very holistic and comprehensive.”
Success will be measured on several brand health metrics, but awareness among non-users will be key. Reddit reportedly has 52m daily active users. As an interactive media, onboarding new users adds to the life of its communities and creates more content to engage and attract the remaining ones. The goal is to match UK citizens with at least one of the 100,000+ communities on Reddit.
The campaign marks a year since Reddit set up its London HQ which houses a 20-person sales team working alongside community, product, media partnerships, marketing, and engineering teams. And that team is growing too, with the announcement of new UK general manager Laurelle Potter, from Tinder and previously Snap.