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February 8, 2021 2 min read
This story originally appeared on Engadget
Reddit has aired its first Super Bowl spot celebrating the famous /WallStreetBets subreddit, though you might have missed it while reaching for a snack. It flashed on the screen for just five seconds, showing Reddit’s famous orange-and-white logo, along with a message. “If you’re reading this, it means our bets paid off. One thing we learned from our communities last week is that underdogs can accomplish just about anything when we come together around a common area.”
What just happened? pic.twitter.com/DypRp6DeQt
— Reddit (@reddit) February 8, 2021
That’s in reference to how the WallStreetBets subreddit thwarted Wall Street short sellers by buying up GameStop stocks. That led to huge hedge fund losses on the short positions, while Redditors who got in (and out) early made huge gains. The extra infamy also brought a huge traffic gain to Reddit, which saw a tenfold increase in new users over the period of January 24th to 30th.
“Who knows, maybe you’ll be the reason finance textbooks have to add a chapter on ‘tendies,’” the ad read. “Powerful things happen when people rally around something they really care about. And there’s a place for that. It’s called Reddit.”
GameStop’s rise was curtailed by broker Robinhood, which stopped and then slowed trades on the stock. Robinhood ran its own 30-second Super Bowl spot celebrating ordinary investors.
Reddit said it spent its “entire marketing budget on five seconds of airtime,” which could be upwards of $1 million considering that a 30-second spot reportedly costs $5.5 million this year (Reddit is valued at nearly $3 billion, according to TechCrunch). “I am really proud of what we were able to achieve with just five seconds and think it beautifully captures the heart of Reddit in our unique and brilliantly absurd tone,” Reddit’s chief marketing officer Roxy Young told CNN.