advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

McAfee nails hackers—and “branded infotainment.”

Whew. I almost went with “entertainment” in the title. Figured I’d better switch it up. So when’s the last time I raved about something again? Just when I thought Unilever and NBC had killed the concept, I saw this clip for nerds or something, at least I thought. It’s part of a series of shorts about H*Commerce produced by McAfee at (H*Commerce is the business of making money through the illegal use of technology to compromise personal and business data.)

When brands miss the mark on this stuff it’s because they focus either on a brand message or the entertainment part; rarely both, and rarely well. Too often, the entertainment that should play off the spirit of the product somehow becomes six degrees removed from it, and neither master is served.

Which they could’ve easily done here with McAfee’s central calling: Security. (Cue series of YouTube clips with guy and giant “M” on his shirt resisting all forms of destruction from friends with assorted power tools—yea cartoon violence!) The majority of this stuff almost always takes a sitcom or action sequence approach. Instead, Tribal DDB SF and DDB West take an educational approach by mimicing a Discovery Channel slash exposé.

By doing that, it also teaches you something you didn’t know anything about, but have a vested interest in. Regardless of your occupation, you either use a computer, or your life is affected by one.

The whole thing is produced well, from the shooting of the series to the site’s interface. It was also the first online ad that I’ve ever seen that let me embed itself directly. Speaking of, the only knock is the default size of the player/clip on the actual site when you go to embed it somewhere. It’s a Wendy’s waaaay too big at almost 500 px wide. Most blog posts, such as this one, run an average of 400 pixels wide.

Not a problem if you resize clips by hand like me, but this won’t let you. Small detail and easily fixed if they can offer alt sizes. (They could’ve also had some copies on YouTube as a workaround for this to link directly to.) Thankfully, they avoided the other annoying thing about embedding: Clips that play automatically. (Not cool unless I’m on YouTube.)

With the quality of everything else though, that’s minor shit that you can forgive because for once, you’re actually looking at a series you wanna watch.

1 comment:

phillybikeboy said...

Very nicely done. Somewhat ironically, unlike when the mainstream news media deals with this topic, these spots don't oversell the problem, or lay on the fear too heavily. If I wasn't already up to my ass in network and computer security, they'd probably get my business.