Web Film Series, Directed by Seth Gordon, Tells Victims’ True Life Stories to Expose the Real and Immediate Problems
SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 20, 2009 - McAfee, Inc. (NYSE:MFE) today launched a new Web film series, entitled “H*Commerce: The Business of Hacking You.” The film series was created to expose cybercrime as a serious and universal threat that can no longer be ignored. This is the first project developed by Tribal DDB San Francisco and DDB West since being retained by McAfee in September 2008.
The term H*Commerce (or Hacker Commerce) is defined as the business of making money through the illegal use of technology to compromise personal and business data. Starting today, a new episode will be posted every two weeks at www.StopHCommerce.com until all six episodes have aired.
“The days when hackers were a small group of thrill-seekers breaking into computers to gain fame and notoriety are behind us,” said David Milam, chief marketing officer at McAfee. “Now, hacking for profit, or what we call H*Commerce, is a global industry in which Americans have lost a total of almost $8.5 billion dollars due to Internet scams and crimes in the last two years alone. Consumers must be aware of risks online, and we think that revealing real stories from victims will resonate with them."
The project was originally conceived as a series of standalone episodes, each focusing on different aspects of cybercrime – such as phishing, denial of service attacks, online scams, bank scraping, and fraudulent emails. As the film-makers dug deep into the experience of H*Commerce victims, they realized the film’s focus had to be on the complex stories of real people doing normal online things, only to be horribly violated by ruthless cybercriminals.
Seth Gordon, director of films such as the 2008 theatrical release of “Four Christmases,” and the documentary, “The King of Kong – A Fistful of Quarters,” was hired to direct “H*Commerce: The Business of Hacking You.” As Gordon began the research phase of the film, he identified a woman living in Oregon, named Janella Spears, who was a victim of one of the largest and most elaborate email scams on record.
Spears’ story of losing more than $440,000, and the dire effects it had on her family and marriage, became the central theme of the film series. Over the course of the filming, Chris Roberts, a third-party cyber forensic expert was introduced to Ms. Spears to provide advice on how to clean her system, handle the hackers, and help put an end to the cybercrime scams.
"The most compelling way to convey the severity of cybercrime was to focus on the personal story of a specific victim," said director Seth Gordon. "The elaborate scam on Ms. Spears unfolded as we were working on the Web series. We witnessed the tactics cybercriminals use to prey on their victims. I hope this Web series shines a light on what is a surprisingly prevalent and insidious industry."
The Web series will be hosted on www.stopHCommerce.com, a site designed to educate people about the issue of H*Commerce. The site serves as a central resource for people to become savvy about online risks and avoid cybercrime. For example, visitors to H*Commerce can view the Web film series while they can also learn about online safety, best practices for safe shopping, and how to best assess an online breach by using McAfee’s Cybercrime Response Unit, a free service to help people stay protected and/or to report a cybercrime. Visitors can also share their real life cybercrime experiences, and send helpful information from the site onto friends and family.
To promote the site, Tribal DDB San Francisco and DDB West are working with Omnicom media sibling OMD to offer out-of-home, online, and mobile channels in entertainment sites including Hulu, ABC.com, NBC.com, and CBS.com. The campaign will also target NYTimes.com, Forbes.com, Slashdot.com, and wired.com.
Adopting a strategy similar to marketing an independent film, McAfee is also targeting San Francisco and New York with a poster campaign series with artwork reminiscent of the iconic Saul Bass posters designed in the 1950s for Alfred Hitchcock movies. The out-of-home campaign will offer a mobile component where viewers who text a short code appearing on the posters can view trailers and receive personalized updates on their cell phones and mobile devices.
A broader national online campaign will combine the posters with video allowing consumers to see trailers of the film. Video content will be disseminated to bloggers and other online influencers.
Web Film Credits
Agencies: Tribal DDB San Francisco, DDB West, OMD (media)
Chief Creative Officer: Lisa Bennett
Managing Director: Geoff Gougion
Director of Production: Frank Brooks
Group Creative Director: Mike Andrews
Planning Director: Mike Casey
Art Director: Mike Andrews
Copywriter: Daniel Mabe
Agency Producer: Frank Brooks
Interactive Executive Creative Director: Tony Cordero
Interactive Creative Director: Heather Reid
Interactive Associate Creative Director: Jon Linder
Interactive Copywriter: Peter Wilson-Tobin
Senior Project Manager: Colby Mancasola
Project Manager: Katey Martin
Group Account Director: Max Terry
Account Manager: Mandy Whichard
Group Director of Strategy, OMD: Casey Brathwaite
Director of Digital, OMD: Chris Magpayo
Production Company: Moxie Pictures
Director: Seth Gordon
Producer: Ed Cunningham
Associate Producer: Mary Rohlich / Luis Lopez
Director of Photography: Bradford Whitaker
Editor: Luis Lopez
Assistant Editors: J.Clay Tweel/Darrin Roberts
Graphics: Luis Lopez/Seth Gordon/J. Clay Tweel
Mixer: Elmo Weber
Music: Michael Wandmacher
Interactive Production: Firstborn
Director of Production: Wes Adams
Flash Developer: Ken Bak
Back End Developer: Ryan Jafari
Producer: Will Russell
About McAfee, Inc.
McAfee, Inc., headquartered in Santa Clara, California, is the world's largest dedicated security technology company. McAfee is committed to relentlessly tackling the world’s toughest security challenges. The company delivers proactive and proven solutions and services that help secure systems and networks around the world, allowing users to safely connect to the Internet, browse and shop the Web more securely. Backed by an award-winning research team, McAfee creates innovative products that empower home users, businesses, the public sector and service providers by enabling them to prove compliance with regulations, protect data, prevent disruptions, identify vulnerabilities, and continuously monitor and improve their security. http://www.mcafee.com
DDB Worldwide Communications Group Inc (www.ddb.com) is the largest consolidated advertising and marketing services global network in the world, according to Advertising Age. DDB also has been frequently ranked as the most awarded agency network in the world by Creativity magazine and The Gunn Report, among others. With more than 200 offices in over 90 countries, the DDB Group believes that creativity is the most powerful force in business, building enduring and powerful brand experiences that create TalkValue,™ influence social communities and drive results. DDB Worldwide is part of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE:OMC).