Robert Downey Jr. quells your fear of sudden death in ad for cybersecurity firm Aura

Plane crashes and death-by-anesthesia don’t hold a candle to online crime, says campaign from Arnold Worldwide

Published On
Oct 03, 2023
Robert Downey Jr. walking in a park with an evil clown in the background

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Your odds of being in a plane crash? One in 11 million. Your odds of falling victim to online crime in America? One in four.

This is the stark contrast laid bare by a new spot from cybersecurity firm Aura, in which Robert Downey Jr. cites popular fears of things that are actually quite unlikely to happen. Instead, the ad suggests, you should be worried about your online safety.

The lighthearted spot—titled “What Are the Odds?”—draws on the irrationality of common death anxieties to drive home its point. According to Downey, your chances of never waking up from anesthesia are one in 185,000, yet the fear of this worst-case scenario is commonly held—a 2013 survey found nearly two-thirds of patients who experience preoperative anxiety are specifically worried they will not awake after surgery.


Another widespread misconception revolves around online crime, albeit in the sense of unreasonable confidence, not anxiety. Roughly 29% of Americans say they are not concerned about falling victim to online crime, according to a Harris Poll survey commissioned by Aura. But one in four Americans were affected by such crime last year, accounting for a total loss of $10.3 billion.

Underpinning this overconfidence is the belief that issues such as identity theft and SMS scams affect only senior citizens. Indeed, more than two-thirds (67%) of survey respondents think older adults are more susceptible to online crime than teenagers. But Aura wants to remind people that anyone can be a target of online crime—even Gen Z, among whom one in two individuals are considered to be at high risk of falling victim, according to the company.

Aura has a multi-year partnership with Downey, who joined the firm as a brand ambassador and member of its board of directors in May. He appeared in an Aura spot earlier this year and has spoken on behalf of the firm at SXSW.

The new campaign was created in partnership with Havas-owned Arnold Worldwide. As part of the effort, Aura is launching a hub of free resources on its website, including instructional articles for resolving instances of online crime as well as an AI-enabled chat tool for personalized support.


Oct 03, 2023
Client :
Agency :
Arnold Worldwide
Chief Executive Officer :
Hari Ravichandran
Communications Manager :
Howard Clabo
Marketing Director :
Jordan Colleran
Chief Creative Officer :
Sean McBride
Creative Director :
Nate Donabed
Creative Director :
Josh Kahn
Associate Creative Director :
Dylan Meagher
Art Director :
Sarah Shellaberger
Executive Producer :
Whitney Bogosian
Business Affairs Manager :
Elyssa Ahern
Marketing Director :
Caroline Kozub
Operations :
Priscilla Patterson
Project Manager :
Kerrie Jacoby
Strategy Director :
Mitch Blum
Production :
Arts & Sciences
Director :
Matt Asleton
Director of Photography :
Robert Elswit
Executive Producer :
Zoe Odlum
Editorial :
Union Editorial
Editor :
Merritt Duff
Edit Assistant :
Ryan Stacom
Executive Producer :
Melissa Lubin
Post Production & VFX :
Zero VFX
VFX Supervisor :
Robby Geis
Producer :
Jack Swanson
Executive Producer :
Meg Bailey
Music & Sound :
Sound Engineer :
Mike Secher

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