What happens when Santa goes online and plays games on an unauthorized website? He catches the Bah-Hum Bug virus and hackers hold the Naughty or Nice list for ransom. It's coal for everyone this year -- or is it?
Symantec Corp. has explored this story in a three-part web series called "Santa Got Hacked" for its Norton anti-virus software brand. The videos were created by Grey Advertising and directed by Slim Pictures' Jason Headley. The total campaign budget was $575,000.
"All brands are fighting for a share of voice during the holiday season," said Kathryn Kane, senior director-global brand and campaigns at Norton. "We thought this would be a great opportunity to shed some light on the relevant, important topic of cybercrime, in a humorous way."
In the first video, which launched on Cyber Monday, Santa's computer catches a virus, and he finds out the Naughty or Nice list is being held for ransom. An elf tells him he has 24 hours to pay up, but Santa says, "We don't negotiate with naughties."
Norton partnered with tech news sites including Mashable, The Daily Beast, Gizmodo and Life Hacker to report on the "breaking news" of Santa getting hacked, and created relevant content such as "8 Kinds of Apps on the Naughty List" and "10 Things Santa Is Afraid Hackers Will Find on his Computer."
In the second spot, Santa takes his computer to his son Kris Jr., an IT guy, who discovers the Naughty or Nice list has been leaked. "They leaked my list? It's time for Santa to remind everyone how this really works," Santa says. "Everyone's getting coal." In the third spot, followers of the video series can find out if Santa follows through on his threat.
Read more about the campaign over at AdAge.com.