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Top 10 Successful Marketing Ploys on Reddit

Reddit intimidates a lot of people — marketers especially. If we don’t understand the social dynamics and invest time into understanding the environment, our marketing efforts will crumble.  On the other hand, if we take the time to learn reddiquette and study the most successful content, we can make Reddit one of the most powerful marketing tools in our arsenal. But first, let’s get our feet wet and observe some of the most successful marketing strategies on Reddit.

1. Old Spice

If you haven’t seen an Old Spice commercial over the past couple years, you’ve been missing out. Isaiah Mustafa has gained the praise of millions as the “The Old Spice Man.” By capitalizing on positive brand reception, Mustafa responded to a user request on Reddit. What was the request? A voice recording for a custom answering machine. The following is the result of understanding your brand audience and the Reddit community:

Mustafa responds with a video recording for Reddit user Pandarr. The video received more than one million views and 8.6k thumbs up.
The Reddit coverage thread received 3,025 upvotes and 1,032 comments.
The thread incredibly sparked motivation to build a Voicemail Generator, recognized by the official Twitter for Old Spice. The tweet received 463 retweets and 190 favorites.

2. Costco

Choosing the right subreddit can mean the difference between success and failure. Costco has repeatedly secured top spots in the TIL (Today I Learned) subreddit.
Here the company is simply stating a concrete deal (the hot dog + soda combo for $1.50) – receiving 3.1k upvotes and 2.4k comments (all positive brand reception).
Costco is recognized for an honorable business practice (auditing clients for proper working conditions) — receiving 2.7k upvotes and 1.1k comments.
Takeaways? Reddit loves the “Good Guy” theme. For companies with a clean reputation, the community responds well to simple reminders and demonstrations of good deeds, business practices and even deals.

3. NameCheap

A couple years back the infamous GoDaddy was found blocking transfer queries to one of their competitors, NameCheap. The story was published on the Namecheap community blog and shared on Reddit, receiving 2.5k upvotes and a aligning with NameCheap.

4. BridgfordStore Beef Jerky

A prime example of researching your niche and monitoring current discussions, BridgfordJerky took advantage of a great marketing opportunity. A Bridgford employee noticed users were upset about the high costs for beef jerky in this thread. They saw this as an opportunity to promote their product in the simplest of ways: Offer the lowest price.

Here is the marketing thread, where a unique discount code is provided to Reddit users and a direct link to the site.
Following the thread, are two additional ones – both by user requests. One is an AMA (ask me anything: basically a Q/A format thread), the other full of sales-related statistics and links to graphs and charts regarding the Reddit discount.
Reddit users were pleased to get a great buy, but even more interested in the success of this whole marketing ploy. Imagine that. Notice the complete transparency demonstrated by Bridgford and how well it was received. With these posts, Bridgford made a ton of sales and gained hundreds of loyal fans.

5. Volvo

Similar to the Costco example, Volvo followed suit with a post in the TIL subreddit. The original post was shared on Reddit, honoring Volvo for giving free license on the three-point seat belt. The comment section turned into a brand booster for Volvo, and a mutilator against Apple (notorious for suing over patents). Results?
The fifth highest voted link in TIL subreddit with 5.4k upvotes and 1.3k comments.
The TIL subreddit has 3.6 million subscribers with an average of 20k active (currently viewing) users.

6. Louis C.K.

The AMA subreddit is another excellent choice for marketing, but can seriously backfire if handled improperly. Redditors easily see through muck and propaganda. They want honest, transparent and quality answers. While AMA has welcomed icons such as U.S. President Barack Obama, Neil De Grasse Tyson, and hundreds of other talented and inspiring faces, it is not a place for press agents (Morgan Freeman received nearly 15,000 negative comments).

Louis C.K. handled ‘his AMA’ ( in a unique and honest way, simultaneously promoting his standup special and website.  The results?
4.2k upvotes and 9k comments. His answers are exemplary to the standards of a proper AMA and he even slipped in a little marketing.

7. Oreo

Oreo got creative in the subreddit /r/funny by recreating a popular meme. The stunt humorously instructed redditors to post marketing propaganda to Reddit, resulting in dozens of user-created content. Not only was the content creative and upvoted, but it was positive brand reinforcement.

8. Google Fiber

As the 32nd highest link of all time on Reddit, a BGR post burning Comcast jumps on the Fiber train, begging for expansion to Boston. While Fiber naturally attracts the interests of practically everyone seeking better Internet, this post demonstrates how simple product marketing can be.

9. Science World

Submitted to /r/funny, this picture shows a clever ad for Science World. Reddit was merely an additional platform to promote the ad, which garnered 8k upvotes and 1k comments. It’s currently the 52nd highest link of all time on Reddit.

10. FUN — Distilled

Simply having a nice design can turn into successful marketing. While not a ploy, the 404 page for Distilled was shared as “The Classiest 404 Page Ever,” earning them 579 upvotes in /r/funny, one the most popular subreddits. I felt this example demonstrates how internal values such as quality and uniqueness can be rewarded on Reddit. In the same vein, organizations like 12 Palms Recovery Centers can separate themselves from competition by creating similar content. They smartly value creative content like , which received 422 shares on Stumble and may see matched success on Reddit.

11. BONUS – Dangers of a failed marketing ploy – BASE Ent.

In this post a marketing rep for Base Ent. was identified in an attempt to promote an exhibit at Discovery Times Square. His deceit was uncovered by redditors who, according to the marketing rep, went on to threaten his family. It’s important to be aware of how fast things can escalate on Reddit and take notes on the successful marketing ploys. Lying to Reddit is a terrible practice, as we’ve just seen, but offering them with a clever or funny ad at the right time can definitely reach the spotlight.

Written by Jesse Aaron. Jesse is a professional blogger with a passion for homebrewing. He writes on a variety of topics on his blog Mashbout. Follow Jesse on Google+.

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