Mcafee Promo, Case study STOP H*COMMERCE by DDB Remedy San Francisco

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Industry Software & Multimedia Productions, SaaS
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency DDB Remedy San Francisco
Director Seth Gordon
Associate Creative Director Jonathan Linder
Creative Director Heather Reid
Copywriter Daniel Mabe
Producer Ed Cunningham
Digital Creative Director Tony Cordero
Editor Luis Lopez De Ochoa
Released May 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Business Products & Services
Advertiser: McAFEE
Date of First Appearance: May 20 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: DDB WEST, San Francisco, USA
Entry URL:
Chief Creative Officer: Lisa Bennett (DDB West)
Managing Director: Geoff Gougion (Tribal DDB)
Director Of Production/Agency Producer: Frank Brooks (DDB West)
Group Creative Director/Art Director: Mike Andrews (DDB West)
Planning Director: Mike Casey (Tribal DDB)
Copywriter: Daniel Mabe (DDB West)
Creative Director: Heather Reid (DDB West)
Associate Creative Director: Jonathan Linder (Tribal DDB)
Media Director: Casey Brathwaite (OMD)
Project Manager: Katey Martin (Tribal DDB)
Digital Creative Director: Tony Cordero (Tribal DDB)
Executive Producer: Lizzie Schwartz (Moxie Pictures)
Director: Seth Gordon (Moxie Pictures)
Producer: Ed Cunningham (Moxie Pictures)
Editor: Luis Lopez
Director of Production: Wes Adams (Firstborn Multimedia)
Flash Developer: Ken Bak (Firstborn Multimedia)
Back End Developer: Ryan Jafari (Firstborn Multimedia)
Director Global Marketing Programs and Advertising: Bob Kennedy (McAfee)
Account Manager: Mandy Whichard (Tribal DDB)
Media placement: Documentary - Webisode Series - - 20 May 2009
Media placement: Website - - 20 May 2009
Media placement: Web Banners - Broadband Enterprise, Federated Media, Hulu,,, Nytimes, S - 20 May 2009
Media placement: Social Media - Facebook, Twitter, Youtube - 20 May 2009
Media placement: Bus Shelters - 180 Units - Clear Channel, Cemusa - 1 July 2009
Media placement: Wild Postings - 800 Units - NPA - 1 July 2009
Media placement: 2 Sheets - 310 Units - Titan, CBS - 1 July 2009
Results and Effectiveness
We shattered the goal and timing expectations by increasing market share 66% in the first quarter after launch. The campaign created three times the number of conversations about McAfee. Overall brand awareness increased 150%. The surge of the film series online spurred a reverse migration offline. DefCon, the annual hacker convention requested a screening and an NBC televised broadcast received a top primetime Nielsen rating. In just 12 weeks we received 6 million viral impressions and 500,000 blog conversations. McAfee went from being seen as merely selling software to being a thought leader and advocate for millions of potential victims.
Creative Execution
We brought H*Commerce to life through a full-length documentary featuring a victim of one of the largest and most elaborate email scams on record. It premiered in six bi-weekly webisodes on, a resource we created where visitors could view the film, learn about online safety and McAfee’s solutions. Our media strategy was to market Stop H*Commerce as an independent studio would market a documentary. We created out-of-home posters reminiscent of classic suspense films that included a mobile component where viewers could text a short code to view the trailer and receive personalised updates. Online video placements were made on entertainment sites like Hulu,, and We developed customised programmes with key sites such as,, and Social networks were also heavily leveraged (a YouTube page, Twitter feed, Facebook page, and a blog-seeding campaign were all put into place).
Insights, Strategy & the Idea
Most people are aware of the various hacking threats. Yet, they’ll hop on a coffee shop’s Wi-Fi to check their bank balance, or forget to look for the VeriSign mark before they click “complete purchase” at an online retailer. Human nature trends towards optimism. In fact, our research showed that 41% felt they weren’t at risk, a phenomenon we labeled “Optimism Bias”. For that reason, they weren’t keeping their security software updated. We needed to convince them that avoiding digital security is a 24/7 battle, not an occasional concern. With this in mind, we developed McAfee’s ultimate proposition - “We see what you can’t.” To make digital security real, urgent, and simple, we gave this threat a name: H*Commerce. Our newly coined term would help the public better understand the threat. H*Commerce was expansive enough to cover all categories of digital security, but specific enough that McAfee could own it.