Did you catch it?
And, if you did catch it, did you pause your DVR to fully digest the moment?
Most viewers probably did not fully recognize the Reddit ad that ran just before the Super Bowl’s second-half kickoff – mainly because it was only five seconds in length.
The purpose of the ad was to slap back at stock-trading app Robinhood’s somewhat tone-deaf 30-second commercial while also paying tribute to those investors who drove the GameStop frenzy over the past couple of weeks.
The ad was simple, with little sound and no actors, just text on screen.
The headline, “Wow, this actually worked,” was followed, in part, by this:
“One thing we learned from our communities last week is that underdogs can accomplish just about anything when they come together around a common idea.”
Several users from the subreddit r/WallStreetBets boosted shares of GameStop and other companies such as AMC, severely damaging hedge funds attempting to short the stocks.
Robinhood disrupted the short squeeze, and its actions have spawned more than 30 class action lawsuits.
The WallStreetBets community attempted to raise enough money for a 30-second spot – via GoFundMe – but was unable to do so.
But the five-second idea is sure to have legs beyond last night (this post, for instance).
Robinhood may have considered pulling the ad, according to a tweet from Ad Age, but decided to run it because the controversy actually helped business. The company claimed they didn’t have enough cash to continue trading, making the costly ad even more controversial.