Norton Symantec Effort Leverages Empowerment

Norton Symantec

Just because cybercrime isn't topping the headlines at the moment doesn't mean it's not happening. Symantec, maker of the Norton suite of Internet and computer protection products, is looking to keep the problem top of mind with a new Internet advertising campaign.

"Cybercrime is exponentially growing, and at the same time a lot of the software companies have gone quiet," says Mark Renshaw, executive vice president of Leo Burnett and Arc Worldwide, two agencies that created the campaign. "People need to get out of the apathy they're in about it."

But rather than scare consumers about the dangers, the new campaign takes a decidedly human approach, using metaphors of outmatched opponents to drive the point home. One Internet video (at asks viewers to imagine that a caterpillar eating a leaf is their identity and street fighter Kimbo Slice is a cybercriminal. The video then offers viewers a choice: "Would you like to allow Kimbo to -- in his words -- "unleash a world of hurt" onto your caterpillar, or would you like to deny it?"



The viewer is then offered two clickable buttons: one for "Allow" in black, and a yellow one for "Deny." Those choosing "Allow" watch as Kimbo starts up a weed eater and heads toward the caterpillar's plant. Those choosing "Deny" see the insect shoot laser beams from its eyes to slice off Kimbo's arm.

"We wanted to show people a way to understand that there may be a danger behind that click, but we didn't want to be preachy," Renshaw tells Marketing Daily of the approach. "We wanted to be clear that you can do something about cybercrime."

Another video in the same vein features '80s rock group Dokken pitted against roasting chicken. Users choosing Deny watch Dokken dispatch the chicken with a synchronized hip thrust. Other ads running on Web sites humorously showcase how cybercriminals work (like one where two women on a home shopping network sell stolen credit card and Social Security numbers that they obtained using keystroke tracking software). At the end of those ads, the two buttons pop up again.

A similar strategy powers a microsite, A black site with yellow text declares that the next attachment you download could contain spyware. "Cybercrime is out there. What are you going to do about it?" the site asks as the two buttons pop up. "Allow" takes the user to more videos and information about cybercrime. "Deny" takes the user to a Norton information and purchase page.

"Black is the darkness of cybercriminals, and yellow is Norton," Renshaw says. "You enter the site differently depending on how you engage with the ads."

The company and agencies are promoting the new global effort with events in New York, London and Japan, where speakers and interactive displays educate the public about the Cyber Crime Black Market. "We created a physical version of what people can't see, but Norton can," Renshaw says of the display. "It's eye-opening for anyone going through that to see how we can make a credit card on the spot."

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