Google Using Reddit Ads for Pixel Phone

March 10, 2017

Google Using Reddit Ads for Pixel Phone

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Google has started using Reddit Ads to promote their new smartphone, Pixel. And it would appear they are running more than one ad to experiment with ad copy and the Reddit Ads platform.

reddit google logo

The First Ad


We don’t have a lot of data to understand how well the Pixel ad running on the front page is doing, but we started tracking it about 2 weeks ago when it had just over 400 upvotes and it now has almost 500 upvotes. Using this we’ve backed up and estimated the ad has run for about 2 to 3 months, or roughly 2 months after the official release date for the Pixel phone on October 20th, 2016.

The ad itself is rather simple and straight forward featuring the new Google icon multicolored G logo many Android and iPhone owners are familiar with. The copy also features a review score from a well known rater of video / camera quality, DxO, stating that Google’s Pixel has the highest ever DxOMark for a mobile device, something the DxO website corroborates.

The ad copy finishes with a display URL typed out, google.com/phone, which when typed in redirects users to: http://madeby.google.com/phone – the homepage for the Pixel phone. This decision is a little perplexing as the url provides no tracking or additional analytics data.

The full ad copy reads: “Meet Pixel, Phone by Google. With a best-ever 89 DxOMark Mobile Score, Pixel’s camera lets you take brilliant photos in low light, bright light or any light. Learn more at google.com/phone”

google's pixel phone reddit ad increased in upvotes

The Other Ads


While refreshing the front page and subreddit’s looking for the Google ad again after a few weeks I noticed what looked like the same ad but with different ad copy on the homepage and across subreddit’s. For example the original ad mentioned the quality of Pixel’s camera but that ad wasn’t the only one showing on subreddit’s like /r/videos that might be more inclined to care about camera quality.

Here are the other two ads I saw running

The Second Ad

This ad’s copy reads: “Meet Pixel, Phone by Google. The Pixel combines hardware and software made by Google, including all of your favorite Google apps, to bring you a fast, seamless, and easy-to-use experience. Learn more at madeby.google.com/phone”

This ad links to this urL: https://madeby.google.com/phone/?utm_source=ads-en-offnet-na-reddit&utm_campaign=pixel&utm_medium=paidsocial-both&utm_term=new-br-pid_143350886-cid_%25ecid!-aid_311020718&utm_content=new-br-pid_143350886-cid_67940415-aid_311020718

google pixel reddit ad

The Third Ad

A yet third version of the ad reads: “Meet Pixel, the first phone with the Google Assistant built-in. Ask it anything. Learn more at google.com/phone.”

This ad links to this url: https://madeby.google.com/phone/?utm_source=ads-en-offnet-na-reddit&utm_campaign=pixel&utm_medium=paidsocial-both&utm_term=new-br-pid_143350899-cid_%25ecid!-aid_311020718&utm_content=new-br-pid_143350899-cid_67940415-aid_311020718

reddit ad for android smartphone

The Landing Page

Google didn’t build out a new landing page for this ad campaign. All three of the ads use UTM parameters to track the success of the ads, but the landing page is the organic landing page anyone would navigate to using Google search.

pixel by google reddit ads landing page

Quick Stats

  • Upvotes: 450-499
  • Length of run: Approximately 2 – 3 months
  • Comments turned on: No
  • Giving away gold: No
  • URL in ad copy: Yes
  • Using custom landing page: No
  • Using UTM parameters: Yes
  • Using brand logo as thumbnail: Yes
  • How many different ads: 3
  • If different ads is subreddit targeting detected: No

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