Reddit is on a crusade to capture advertisers’ budgets, but first of all it has to convince them that the self-proclaimed ‘front page of the internet’ is a brand-safe environment.
The platform’s vice-president of brand partnerships, Zubair Jandali, suggested Reddit doesn’t have a misplacement problem, so much as a perception one.
“Brand safety is not a concern that any one of our customers has,” the ex-Google exec told The Drum.
“It’s always prior to any interaction with us that [advertisers] express that as something they care about, but once they’ve worked with us for the first time their full attention is on the opportunity, not the perceived risk.”
It has slowly been winning big budget brand around, including Coca-Cola, P&G and Audi.
Jandali’s “first pitch” when he joined Reddit in 2015 was to Coke, which at the time refused to advertise on the platform over misplacement concerns. However, the soda giant has since come to run several campaigns on the site since that initial rebuttal.
Reddit is fresh from a redesign implemented to make the experience better for users and advertisers alike.
Over the past few years it has also “rewritten” its advertising offering; allowing brands to pay for promoted posts (which include its popular ‘Ask Me Anything’ threads, or AMAs), programmatic space and native video ads, along with access to its 80-person partnerships team or its small but growing strong internal creative agency.
“We think of brand safety as being inexorably linked to relevance and because we have context in every community we are just very deliberate about where we are targeting a campaign,” explained Jandali.
To do this, Reddit operates an “opt-in” system, where – along with the brands paying for the space – it signs off which subreddits (the site’s member-founded-and-moderated communities) ads should appear on or adjacent to.
Jandali was explicit that the ad eligible part of Reddit is “a hand-curated, human reviewed network” that is effectively a subsection of the main site. Reddit comprises 1.2 million active communities covering everything from cosmetics to gardening, cars to gaming and 130,000 of these communities are hobby-based.
As Reddit tries to further scale its ad business and woo brands with access to a potential 330 million users, however, the issue is getting clients to overcome the prospect of that “risk” Jandali speaks of.
Instead, the company wants them to see the value in its “unduplicated” reach. According to ComScore 81% of Reddit’s US users aren’t on Instagram and 51% don’t have a Twitter account.
With the shadow of YouTube’s brand safety crisis – where ads for Cornflakes had the potential to be served adjacent to Isis recruitment videos – still looming large over the industry, Marc Goldberg, chief executive of brand safety planning firm Trust Metrics, said most brands still see UGC buys as a gamble.
“If you believe Reddit is 100% brand safe, then you haven’t been on Reddit,” he suggested.
Source: The Drum