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Industry Innovators 2024: Reddit

The platform’s conversations come to life through immersive experiences aimed at marketers and advertisers.

At this year's SXSW, Reddit took over South Austin restaurant Two Hands. Along with programming, the space served food and drinks that were recommended by fellow Redditors.
At this year's SXSW, Reddit took over South Austin restaurant Two Hands. Along with programming, the space served food and drinks that were recommended by fellow Redditors.
Photo: Courtesy of Reddit

This feature is sponsored by BeEvents, creative evolutionaries who challenge the status quo to redefine the experience of live events. Its Smart Experience Design solution delivers highly impactful experiences that both stakeholders and guests love.

The Basics: Reddit, the network of forums known for its AMAs and user-created boards on just about anything, has turned the premise of the platform into real-life activations at tentpole events like SXSW, Cannes Lions, and CES. Often featuring Snoo, the site’s mascot, and its signature bright orange color, the experiences aim to showcase the power of Reddit's community, translating data and stats into engaging spaces for event attendees.

Reddit returned to CES earlier this year with ​​”The Key to Context.” It brought to life conversations from Reddit communities in an immersive experience. Across three interactive installations, attendees could discover how Redditors navigate conversations and the contextual environment that's created through these discussions, which can benefit advertisers. Reddit’s CES experience “illustrated how authentic, trusted conversations naturally lend themselves to purchase-related, commercial discussion,” Billingsley said. “Strategically integrated case studies and product demos ensured visitors had actionable takeaways on how to integrate their brands into worlds of contextual relevance on Reddit to drive awareness, consideration, and purchase.”Reddit returned to CES earlier this year with ​​”The Key to Context.” It brought to life conversations from Reddit communities in an immersive experience. Across three interactive installations, attendees could discover how Redditors navigate conversations and the contextual environment that's created through these discussions, which can benefit advertisers.

Reddit’s CES experience “illustrated how authentic, trusted conversations naturally lend themselves to purchase-related, commercial discussion,” Billingsley said. “Strategically integrated case studies and product demos ensured visitors had actionable takeaways on how to integrate their brands into worlds of contextual relevance on Reddit to drive awareness, consideration, and purchase.”
Photo: Courtesy of Reddit
Most Innovative Experience: In January at CES, Reddit introduced a new activation called “Reddit: The Key to Context.” Susan Billingsley, Reddit's senior director of global customer marketing, explained that the theme brought together changes in human and consumer behavior, along with shifts in the digital and advertising spaces.

“With the rise of AI, bots, paid influencers, and recent global events, people are increasingly seeking genuine human connections. Meanwhile, digital advertising is grappling with signal loss, cookie deprecation, and platform uncertainties. Our activation created a tactile, interactive experience to prove that advertisers can still meet their goals by reaching their audiences in the right place, at the right time, in the right context,” she said. 

She added that the activation “brought the breadth and depth of Reddit communities to life, allowing visitors to walk through, touch, and directly engage with examples of real conversations on Reddit.” Using real user-generated content and Q&As found on the platform, the brand showed how users seek out information on Reddit every day—looking for advice, answers, and product recommendations on everything from sensitive skin care to rental cars to how to fix their tech.

At CES, guests followed an interactive recommendation journey to understand how an initial question, idea, or passion can lead to a well-informed, satisfied purchase decision across a range of product categories. Attendees also had the opportunity to learn about and take home products most recommended and talked about on Reddit.At CES, guests followed an interactive recommendation journey to understand how an initial question, idea, or passion can lead to a well-informed, satisfied purchase decision across a range of product categories. Attendees also had the opportunity to learn about and take home products most recommended and talked about on Reddit.Photo: Courtesy of RedditEvent Philosophy: “We want our experience to sit in the middle of a Venn diagram between our audience and ourselves—meaning that we want to surprise, delight, and refresh with something that’s useful for the audience and also accomplishes our goals,” Billingsley explained. â€śIt’s not effective to force-feed messages or experiences that are too Reddit-centric. That said, we also wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t go in with clearly defined goals and objectives for driving brand, relationships, and revenue.”

Lessons Learned So Far: Following successful activations at CES and Cannes Lions, Billingsley said that the brand has “streamlined and optimized our internal processes as demand for and interest in our experiences has increased, maintaining high standards and creating best-in-class audience development, sales collaboration, and custom programming as we go.”

The Latest: Reddit brought its next iteration of “The Key to Context" activation to this year’s Cannes Lions, which took place earlier this month. “We launched new research on the evolution of search behavior, showing how no matter where someone starts a purchase journey, all roads lead through Reddit as consumers search, research, question, and validate their purchases in conversation and communities on Reddit.”

At last year's Cannes Lions, Reddit’s eye-catching space aimed to give marketers fresh insights and best-practice examples to help them drive success on the platform. The pop-up’s bright orange exterior cleverly used text from questions that have been asked on the platform to form the walls.At last year's Cannes Lions, Reddit’s eye-catching space aimed to give marketers fresh insights and best-practice examples to help them drive success on the platform. The pop-up’s bright orange exterior cleverly used text from questions that have been asked on the platform to form the walls.Photo: Courtesy of Reddit
Inside the 2023 Cannes Lions activation, guests could take a journey down the consumer recommendation path on Reddit, starting with a question and following the prompts to land on a recommendation. The space also highlighted a data-based analysis of the latest industry trends, like how consumer influence is shifting and the impact this has on marketing strategies.Inside the 2023 Cannes Lions activation, guests could take a journey down the consumer recommendation path on Reddit, starting with a question and following the prompts to land on a recommendation. The space also highlighted a data-based analysis of the latest industry trends, like how consumer influence is shifting and the impact this has on marketing strategies.Photo: Courtesy of Reddit

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