Establishing the true
nature of security

Symantec has always been synonymous with cybersecurity. Its software and solutions have been protecting companies of all sizes against threats of all kinds for decades. While not necessarily a household name, Symantec and its checkmark logo are very familiar to its customers and partners. So familiar that everyone assumes they already know what Symantec does: It stops threats. This is true. And for years, that was its core—and only—message. Symantec was here to help you avoid risk. Its marketing was filled with negative words like “stop,” “prevent,” and “don’t.” And that’s where the story ended.

Enormous amounts of research, brainstorming, and refinement go into seemingly simple messaging recommendations. In this case, it was that Symantec should be telling the flipside of the story it usually told in communications.

The Symantec leadership asked us to help them build a new foundational strategy and global brand campaign to go with it. In our research, we learned something meaningful: Security is not a product, it’s a feeling. And when people and organizations feel secure, they are confident to do more. We made a key decision—stop talking about prevention and start talking about the enablement security provides. Like a skier wearing a helmet, protection is about going farther, faster—not simply avoiding risk.

At the core of the campaign is a simple idea: Highlight the things that Symantec, by protecting you, empowers you do to. In other words, take the next step. Answer the “So, what?” Don’t just talk about being protected. Celebrate what you can do when you are protected.

We partnered with legendary effects house Gentleman Scholar to create a pair of anthemic videos featuring a roster of what came to be known as Big Words. These were verbs that described the things an organization could do when its data was secure and available. They ranged from the aspirational—roam, innovate, wonder; to the more functional and expected—work, collaborate, protect. The only rule: each word needed an “o” in it so we could feature the Symantec checkmark the audience knew so well. Aside from appearing in the videos, most of the words had their own appearances in print, digital banners, and dramatic out-of-home placements. Music for the two videos was composed by Stimmung in Los Angeles, where it was recorded with a live orchestra.

The compelling message was flexible enough to work well in more than a dozen languages, including Mandarin.

We launched this epic global rebrand in 20 countries and almost as many languages. Overall, 2.5 billion impressions were served. And results were impressive—including a 21 percent increase in brand favorability and a 65 percent increase in purchase intent.