How Alienware used a little more conversation to boost click through rates

The Dell-owned gaming and console company found Reddit’s Conversation Placements - despite a small real estate - increased CTR compared to other placements, with a nod to the importance of authenticity when engaging with the gaming community

The background

With its first dip into the UK market, Dell’s Alienware ran assets from its ‘Defy Boundaries’ campaign across a variety of ad products and placements on Reddit’s platform in a test-and-learn approach. Conversation Placements won out - driving much higher click through rates (CTRs) than Feed Placements. 

David Trencher, Reddit Head of Large Customer Sales for UK, EMEA and Australia points to community conversations as being at the heart of Reddit “as they’re where the most passionate users engage around their interests”.

“For Dell Alienware, Conversation Placement provided a way to capture their audience’s attention while they’re most leaned in on the platform.”

Anthony Pritchard, Dell Alienware Social Media and Influencer Marketing Manager agrees: “There’s a huge gaming audience on Reddit and it’s a key hub for authentic conversation around gaming, PC hardware, and more, so it’s something we value being part of.”

The solution

Reddit used its internal tools to investigate which interest groups were talking about Alienware, with gaming and tech indexing heavily. By collaborating with Dell’s agency planning team, Mediacom, Reddit identified which communities would be most relevant to stakeholders. 

Reaching gamers when they’re at their most engaged – by diving into comments – was valuable, as Reddit users are not passive scrollers, but active searchers, so it made sense for Dell Alienware to present itself as more directly involved with conversations rather than a passive observer of audiences in the gaming industry.

Dell Alienware and Reddit looked at specific communities based around gaming, or those who had a high percentage of gamers. It also identified communities of specific of-the-time popular games to ensure Dell Alienware could be associated with those titles.

Authenticity is critical within the gaming industry, meaning that poorly-fitting creative and intrusive placements can have an adverse effect on brands. Pritchard highlighted that Reddit gave Dell Alienware control over paid media content “in an environment far more closely aligned with the gaming community, and in a format that’s consistent with other content on the platform”.

And Reddit’s Conversation Placements meant creative – and the brand – was placed inside a Reddit post, next to the conversation thread. With 42% of an average Reddit user’s time spent in a conversation thread, this meant that placement was at the point of high engagement, despite what might be termed a more limited “real estate”.


Dell Alienware saw a 20% higher click through rate across the campaign than Reddit’s Retail vertical benchmark, with a 59% effective cost per thousand impressions when measured against the same yardstick.

And Conversation Placements emerged as the clear winner, with a 59% higher CTR than Feed Placements – promoted posts and videos – throughout the campaign

Pritchard confirms that Dell Alienware will continue to use Reddit going forward, “as we’ve found it effective particularly for driving reach around our demand creation campaigns”.




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