In what comes as the latest bewildering update to the GameStop/Wall Street Bets episode, a section of Reddit users managed to buy a five-second commercial spot during the Super Bowl LV on Sunday night (local time).
The five-second commercial carried a simple message saluting the "underdogs" who had given quite a hard time to the doyen investors at Wall Street. The clip was jacked in between a car commercial and a video of horses.
"Wow, this actually worked," Reddit's message read. "If you’re reading this, it means our bet paid off."
You can check out the Reddit commercial spot here:
The company acknowledged that "big game spots are expensive" and so they couldn't buy a full one; but even so, the entire marketing has been decidedly spent on these five seconds of airtime.
"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," the post read.
The post goes on to read:
"Who knows, maybe you’ll be the reason finance textbooks have to add a chapter on “tendies.” Maybe you’ll help teach the world about the majesty of owls. Maybe you’ll even pause this 5-second ad.
Powerful things happen when people rally around something they really care about. And there’s a place for that. It’s called Reddit."
Notably, the Super Bowl event, being the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL), has often been touted to be most-watched American television broadcast of the entire year and is certainly among the most-watched sporting events in the entire world, second only to the UEFA Champions League final.
As such, securing a commercial spot here is a matter of great deal, and money. This year, the CBS had opened the bidding for a 30-second commercial spot at the Super Bowl at $5.5 million, a tough spot in a total list of 40-50 commercials, which end up being highly anticipated and subsequently shared.
A five-second ad at the Super Bowl event would thus cost something to the tune of $915,000, admittedly, the entire marketing budget of the website.
Landmark moment in investment history
As questions continue to swirl around the stunning upset of financial power on Wall Street -- here's a brief on how Reddit made this possible and why this is an important moment in investment history.
For those not following the developments for the past couple of weeks, in an apparent bid to to challenge Wall Street's dominance, a group of online investors on Reddit's r/WallStreetBets forum bid up the price of stocks like GameStop, putting big-money hedge funds that had bet against the stocks in a spot.
After many individual investors traded in its stocks, GameStop's market stock value soared more than 1,000% over the past several weeks, chiefly believed to be a result of promotion from Reddit's WallStreetBets forum.
Since short-sellers were betting against the stock, they now had to buy shares to hedge their positions due to the stock's surge, eventually sending the stock's value even higher.
Here's an in-depth explainer of the entire series of events:
Meanwhile, Silicon Valley-based online trading app Robinhood had to raise emergency funding of $1 billion from its existing investors after demands on its cash skyrocketed amid "extraordinary circumstances" in the market.
After the app created a mayhem among the traders, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said that it is closely monitoring and evaluating the extreme price volatility of certain stocks' trading prices over the past several days.
Although the FAA did not directly name Robinhood, GameStop and others, it acknowledged that extreme stock price volatility has the potential to expose investors to "rapid and severe losses and undermine market confidence".