The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

Dell I.T. Squad

Winner in Other Platform, Other Platform Presence

Gold Honor in Business to Business

Audience Honor in Other Platform Presence


Dell Technologies provides some of the most advanced I.T. products for businesses, but business decision-makers don’t trust I.T. providers. There is an inherent disconnect in perceived trust across business decision-makers and their enterprise providers (49% do not trust enterprises and think they are not trying to understand their challenges).

Closing the trust gap is essential in restoring the fundamental partnership, and I.T. services stand the most to gain in building trust (15% spend more on I.T. services when businesses trust the enterprises they work with). 

Traditional advertising was not working. We needed to better understand where this 'hard to reach' audience live, what were their trusted I.T. sources, what motivated them and what were their most pressing I.T. issues.

Data revealed that this young business decision-making audience outrank other audiences in community forum engagement, especially on Reddit and Quora, where they trust in peer-to-peer discussions. These forums rank top of mind through most of the B2B buying journey. 

Dell saw an opportunity to connect with this audience in a more organic way by joining the conversation on Reddit (72% of users trust brand recommendations on Reddit). 


Strategy and Execution

To earn the trust of I.T. business decision-makers Dell Technologies partnered with Reddit to create a best in class I.T. squad, that infiltrated the platform and became the go-to resource for ITDMs.

For the first time, the Reddit avatars were brought to life and starred in an original comedy series, the I.T. Squad, starring Bryan and Ryan, I.T. nerds on a mission to solve the most pressing I.T. issues. 

The comedy series was designed to join the conversation, organically. Each episode was based on real Reddit threads and the hottest topics trending on the platfrom—with the I.T. Squad always saving the day with the best Dell solution. 

Fans could upvote, comment and continue the conversation.

Then, the I.T. Squad led the conversation with Reddit talks and AMA (Ask Me Anything) series, where they invited influencers, expert on each topic, to discuss and share thought leadership.

Bryan and Ryan became stars in the community and a go-to resource for I.T. business decision-makers.





The show was released exclusively on Reddit, where it quickly gathered millions of fans and helped turn the Dell I.T. Squad into a hit series. 

The campaign received 72 million impressions, +1000% increase in followers and 200x increase in brand credibility. 

All three of the I.T. Squad episodes exceeded Reddit benchmarks for “Upvotes” by 48% or more. Quantitative evidence of the trust Dell developed with this audience.

Substantial increase in VTRs, +35%, over typical social media campaigns, demonstrated the affinity ITDMs had for the IT Squad.

The Dell I.T. Squad is now being planned for a second season, due to popular demand.


Video for Dell I.T. Squad

Entrant Company / Organization Name

EssenceMediacom, Dell Technologies


Entry Credits