Do you Reddit?
Or, for the people who don't speak Reddit, have you visited reddit.com recently? Do you even know what it is? Well if you don't, I highly advise you to wander over to reddit.com at some point to check it out.
(If you do Reddit, you can skip over the next three paragraphs by the way).
First, What Exactly is Reddit?
Reddit is what is known in the biz as a content aggregator. To put it another way, it is a collection of user submitted links that run the gamut, from comedy and pictures, to music, TV, news stories, inventions, NSFW videos and pictures, and of course, advertising.
The front page of Reddit features the top stories of the day, with users voting up stories they like, and voting down stories they don't. They top 20 list is constantly changing, and users who submit these links get something known as Reddit Karma. The more karma you have, the more of an experienced user you are. Or lucky. It doesn't really matter, as Reddit Karma isn't worth anything except "props" from other users.
If a story hits the top 20 on Reddit, that site will be inundated with thousands, and sometimes millions, of page views. And this is what is so attractive to advertisers. Getting that kind of high volume traffic for free is very tempting.
You Want To Get In? Good Luck To You.
Regular users of Reddit will know what the word integrity actually means. It's certainly nothing to do with the quality of the content. It ranges from sex and gore to hard-hitting news and pictures of kittens.
Lots of pictures of kittens.
And pictures of breasts.
And pictures of kittens nestled between breasts.
However, in this case, integrity means quite simply that Reddit cannot be bought. You can't get to the top spot with money, you need user upvotes. Sure, there are sponsored links, and you can pay for those. BUT, they do not appear in the numbered list. And as such, users usually steer clear of them. No one likes being advertised to on Reddit, which means it's pointless to take that sponsored spot if you want real clickthroughs. What's more, you get no credit for having a link you paid for. It's like buying your Oscar instead of earing it.
So having said that, what you're basically looking at, as an advertiser, are two options.
The Trojan Horse Scenario.
This one is not recommended, but it can work. What you want to do is create content that you know will appeal to Reddit, but have it link to a page that contains what you really want people looking at. For instance, GoDaddy commercials try this. They fail, most of the time. Semi-naked girls have nothing to do with buying cheap web domains, but people click on the ads, and once they're at the site, they will hopefully be converted to paying customers. It can work. But it comes with way less credibility.
The Genuinely Good Content Approach
It's easy enough, but hard at the same time. You have to create great advertising, and content so stunning, so original, so different, and so viral, that it lends itself to a content aggregator like Reddit. It needs to be something people want to share, want to upvote and want to comment on. Superbowl spots usually have this draw, although most of them these days are falling into that GoDaddy mold. But if you do something awesome (like the TNT "Push Button To Add Drama" campaign) you will hit the top list and get the massive clickthroughs you deserve.
Remember, Reddit's content is created by users, for users. Respect that, treat them well, and don't submit links that disrespect the code. Then, you will do well.