Jun. 26th, 2006

Symantec gets it backwards


PC virus fighter Symantec takes a bold step in this month’s Wired with a promotion tied to the release of Columbia TriStar’s DaVinci Code movie.

Symantec’s ads are printed backwards, forcing readers to hunt down a mirror to decipher the message.

Few advertisers attempt to force readers to change their perspective. Stopping power rests instead upon design and reader interest. Marketers rarely require their audience to stop and think.

Not so in the UK, where marketing can be extremely oblique (I’m reminded of the UK’s Silk Cut cigarette ads). Aussie marketers in particular are notorious for running their ads upside down in the UK press. In the US, Citibank too are enjoying success with their thought-provoking outdoor campaign.

Frequent readers will be reminded by our brainteaser this week. (XI+I=X — the Fandango dollars remain unclaimed as of posting, gang).

According to neuroscientists at the University of Houston puzzle solvers experience a major change in bainwave patterns:

"Delta waves characterise such mental processes as memory; gamma waves are associated with co-ordinated mental activity. Both seem to be signatures of focused, but perhaps conventional, mental activity. The fact that both disappeared right before volunteers hit upon a creative solution suggests that the brain was escaping from conventional thought patterns" — Sharon Begley, Wall Street Journal, December 3, 2005.

Symantec’s twist has turned a ho-hum contest into something to gab about.

The DaVinci promotion links through to an $100,000 anagram contest

Media placement is designed to catch early adopters likely to be influential in the selection of personal and business purchase of virus protection solutions including Symantec’s leading seller, Norton AntiVirus.

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