Alienware is Dell's premier gaming PC brand, covering its fastest and best performing computer products, which are targeted at hard-core gamers who are willing to pay a premium for high spec equipment. This audience is so addicted to online games they barely consume any other media, including online advertising. Tasked with improving sales by 20 per cent quarter on quarter, the agency had to devise an interventionist strategy to reach this notoriously fickle and well-informed niche audience.
At the heart of Alienware's strategy was the plan to intimately engage with the hardcore gaming audience by hosting a multistage game-play tournament. After learning through in-house advertising that gamers often complain about server speeds, Alienware set up free high-speed servers for the gaming community to use. Every player joining the server was exposed to the Alienware Clan Challenge message encouraging them to enter their team in a new Alienware online tournament, the winning team of which would receive 5 Alienware Aurora desktop machines valued at $30,000. Sixty teams were reduced through online qualifications to the best eight for the Sydney live final. Additional multi-channel communications were achieved by integrating online advertising to Gamespot's 500,000 Australian gamers, activating PR across mainstream and gaming titles, blog seeding, targeting Facebook ads to gaming enthusiasts, and updating live tweets to Alienware followers. The Sydney Live finals were held in an impressive warehouse space to create a real life Alienware Arena. The arena had seats for spectators and a gaming den for competitors. All the action from the day was streamed online. Footage of the event was posted on YouTube and seeded via PR, media partners and through key gaming influencers.
The campaign reached 1.4 million unique users across targeted game sites, increased sales of the Alienware machines by 40 per cent; and the tournament generated PR valued at $550,000. The campaign is now being rolled out to additional markets across the globe.