If you didn’t pay attention for five seconds then you might have missed this ad.
Reddit, the “frontpage of the internet” launched their first Super Bowl ad just after the halftime show on Sunday. But the ad was only 5-seconds long so it is hard to read all that in 5 seconds.
Super Bowl ads are very expensive — a 30-second spot for the Super Bowl LV cost $5.5 million. Hence the choice to buy such a minuscule spot. While it was easy to miss the ad, the basis of it is hoping that you saw it and google it afterward.
“Wow, this actually worked. If you’re reading this, it means our bet pays off,” the ad reads. According to the ad, which is a text-based “post” that looks exactly like the website, the company blew its “entire marketing budget” on just 5 seconds of air time. In it, the company notes they were “inspired.”
Reddit is tipping its fedora to the action that’s taken place on r/WallStreetBets over the past few weeks, where some retail day traders in the community got together to turn against hedge funds that bet against stocks like GameStop and AMC.
“One thing we learned about our communities last week is that underdogs can accomplish just about anything when they come together around a common idea,” the ad reads.
Redditors hyped the stocks so much that the price of GameStop hit a high of $483 last week, causing a reckoning in the financial world as hedge funds lost billions and some traders cashed out.
“Who knows, maybe you’ll be the reason finance textbooks have a chapter on ‘tendies.’ Maybe you’ll help r/SuperbOwl teach the world about the majesty of owls. Maybe you’ll even pause this 5-second ad,” it reads
The mention of “tendies” here is key, and is an obvious nod to r/WallStreetBets without really saying their name. Wins in the subreddit are often called “tendies,” a holdover of a meme from another era of the internet.
Robinhood, the evil tech company in this story, has their own Super Bowl ad and a group of Redditors even tried to crowdfund their own, the most significant ad may have come from Reddit itself.
According to CNBC, the ad ran in major markets such as New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston, and Washington D.C.