AWS Startups Blog

ReCactus Founder and CEO Bernard Tan on the future of engagement advertising

It’s safe to say that Gen Y and Gen Z are intimately more connected to their peers—and social influencers—than previous generations and are less connected to cold advertising. “Advertising that just pops up? They don’t watch it,” says ReCactus CEO and Founder Bernard Tan. “That’s why peer-to-peer promotion has become so prevalent in the last few years, especially with this growth of influencer platforms.”

To tap into this shift in mentality, Tan founded ReCactus, a reaction video social platform (think Twitter or Instagram, but for video responses. By focusing on engagement advertising, brands using ReCactus can do extended campaigns that go beyond just holding a product and taking a photo.

“Say you’re a makeup brand—you could do a 30-second makeup challenge and our users or influencers will then watch and respond to it, play the game… share it out to their followers, challenge their friends,” says Tan. “So it becomes this viral, peer-to-peer promotion of your product.”

Brands certainly agree. Since doing a hard launch in November of 2017, ReCactus has started seeing some traction, raised venture funding, and won a number of awards, including the Infinity Ventures Summit Launchpad and Runway to RISE in Taiwan.

“We’ve seen a lot of brands really excited about this user-generated campaign advertising.,” says Tan. “I think it’s really going be the future of advertising and the future of social media, responding to campaigns.”

Michelle Kung

Michelle Kung

Michelle Kung currently works in startup content at AWS and was previously the head of content at Index Ventures. Prior to joining the corporate world, Michelle was a reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal, the founding Business Editor at the Huffington Post, a correspondent for The Boston Globe, a columnist for Publisher’s Weekly and a writer at Entertainment Weekly.